The new proprietors of Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury quietly reopened the famous shop Saturday morning, quickly drawing customers after a summer-long closure.

Old general store has had a facelift — and floor leveling. — Ray Ewing

Coffee to go, groceries and housewares were among the top sellers during the first hour of business at Alley’s, as proprietors April and Michael Levandowski bustled around posting town mask-mandate signs and helping customers.

“The coffee’s good,” said West Tisbury resident Peter Halperin, whose cup to go made him the very first customer.

His wife bought a broom holder, he said. “There’s useful hardware.”

Faithful Alley’s customers will find many familiar cues in the refurbished store. The general layout is the same, and the product mix of edible, useful and playful items approximates the old Alley’s without the eye-high clutter.

“The store is not filled with toys and tchotchkes that are frivolous, but they have a lovely children’s section,” said Mr. Halperin, as he relaxed with his coffee on the bench outside the shop.

“They’ve kept the essence of the old Alley’s, and developed it in an . . . intelligent way,” he said.

“Everything’s a bit better. That’s the feel.”

Customers entering the shop will still find cold drinks and groceries in refrigerated cases along the wall, though the cases are new and no longer tilt after the floor beneath them was leveled as part of the months-long renovation.

The Levandowskis even reinstalled Alley’s time-worn wooden counter, which now supports the coffee service.

Post office has a fresh coat of paint. — Ray Ewing

“We put the old counter back, just for fun,” Mr. Levandowski said.

While the couple said they have no intention to pack the new store as full of goods as the Alley’s many people remember — where beachwear, wind-up toys and scented soaps and candles were sold alongside garden tools, ice cream and pot holders — Mr. Levandowski said there are many more products on order that have been delayed by supply chain problems.

“Inventory’s so hard to get,” he said, a frequent complaint among Island businesspeople in pandemic times.

Even fixtures have been hard to source, Mr. Levandowski said.

“We’ve begged, borrowed and stolen things from our other business,” the Leroux kitchen and home store in Vineyard Haven, he said.

Groceries will become a larger part of Alley’s final product mix, including produce and meat in coolers that are still on order, Mr. Levandowski said.

Other plans include creating a garden with outdoor seating behind the store and expanding into the Alley’s outbuilding there, he said.

Although the post office part of Alley’s never closed during the renovation that began last spring, it did receive a gleaming new paint job courtesy of the Vineyard Trust, which owns the building and leases the store to the Levandowskis.

“The Trust has been unbelievably supportive,” said Mr. Levandowski, a former member of the nonprofit’s board of trustees.

“We’re just the tenant. They’re the landlord,” he said. “They’ve invested a lot of money, as have we.”

The shop’s initial hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an earlier Sunday closing in the works and a plan to stay open year-round, the couple said.

“With this current labor shortage, it’s very difficult,” Mr. Levandowski said, adding that in 40 years of retailing on the Vineyard he had never seen such a tight labor market.

Busy as they were Saturday morning, the Levandowskis were brought to a momentary halt when a customer unfurled the new Wall Street Journal, complete with a sketch and interview with the couple in an article about visiting the Vineyard.

“Of all the days for it to come out!” Ms. Levandowski said.

More pictures.