Walking Blues No More, the Cobbler Shop Returns
Ivy Ashe
The Cobbler Shop is back in business. Owner Nancy MacMullen officially reopened last Tuesday after a long hiatus, and her to-do list was full right away.
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One Last Week Before Needle Is Raised at Aboveground Records
Remy Tumin
As Aboveground Records prepares to close its doors on Saturday, owner Mike Barnes declares that this week is all about hanging out. “This week isn’t about commerce, it’s about friendship," he said on Sunday afternoon.
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Aboveground Records Will Close
Ivy Ashe

After nearly 20 years in business, Aboveground Records, the landmark indie Island record store that has had a following among people of all ages, plans to close its doors.

On Wednesday morning this week Aboveground founder and owner Michael Barnes announced a closing date for the beloved store at the Triangle in Edgartown by posting a simple message reading on the store’s Facebook page: “1995-2014.”

“We’re in the final three months,” Mr. Barnes told the Gazette on Wednesday. He said he will likely close in the first week of January 2014.

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Foreign Visa Workers Fill Unmet Demand for Summer Labor, But Trend May Be Changing
Felipe Cabrera

It’s that time of year when seasonal businesses are taking down the shutters and the summer workforce is beginning to arrive.

In recent years Eastern Europeans and Jamaicans have been filling a growing share of summer jobs. Foreign workers wait tables, greet guests, pour beers, make hotel beds, bake peanut brittle and fudge, serve lobster rolls and fry quesadillas. About 5,000 people come to the Island to work each year, according to a recent Martha’s Vineyard Commission report on housing needs.

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Guarded Optimism for Summer Economy
Olivia Hull

The Island has the second lowest seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in the state, according to recent data released by the state’s executive office of labor and workforce development. The office reports that the Tisbury labor market area, which includes all six Island towns, had a seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.8 per cent in July, while the state average was 6.6 per cent. Statewide, Nantucket had the lowest unemployment rate for July, calculated to be 2.9 per cent.

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Port Hunter Is Latest Addition To Edgartown Restaurant Row
Olivia Hull

A few days after hanging the Port Hunter sign on Main street in Edgartown, new restaurateurs Patrick and Ted Courtney received a visit from an old-timer. The man showed the brothers numerous old photos of the space including one that featured the front of the brick building and a sign mounted on steel with white lettering which spelled out First National. The sign was almost identical to their new sign, down to the font size and style.

“It kind of came back around... It was nice,” Ted said. “We felt like we were doing the right thing.”

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Loss of Passenger Ferries in Vineyard Haven Hits Hard at Businesses Along Beach Road
Chris Burrell
There are no ripples or wake anymore, but the impact of no Schamonchi and no fast ferry from New London, Conn., has hit some businesses in Tisbury hard, especially along Beach Road where the ferries used to dock and disgorge tourists by the hundreds.
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Business landscape Shifts in Larger Towns
Jonathan Burke

Now is always a good time to market a quality product, say a number of Island entrepreneurs opening new businesses this summer.

"Our idea ... was to kind of seize the moment," said Frank Pellegrino, opening a Mexican restaurant where Lawry's seafood restaurant used to be in Edgartown.

He said that he and partner Denise Page didn't want uncertain economic times to deter them from taking the lease to a valuable piece of property: Not many businesses come with parking lots attached, he said.

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Living with the Cost of Imported Labor
Mandy Locke

NANTUCKET - On a hot Tuesday morning, tourists clog Nantucket's cobblestone streets, strolling from boutique to art gallery to coffee shop.

Walking from Main to Centre streets, they sip a latte, buy a hooded island sweatshirt and brunch at the Jared Coffin House, knowing nothing of the obstacles this old whaling city has overcome just to serve them.

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Historic Edgartown Restaurant Changes Hands Come January
James Kinsella
An investor group headed by principals in Conover Real Estate has signed an agreement to buy the landmark Navigator Restaurant and Boathouse Bar in Edgartown from its longtime owners, the Young family.
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