The restaurant at Chilmark’s Beach Plum Inn will open this May with a new head chef. Josh Aronie, who led the kitchen at the nearby Home Port Restaurant last summer, will oversee both restaurants this year.
Josh Aronie started his career at the Home Port restaurant in Menemsha, where he parlayed his job as a window washer into a gig as a prep cook. Three decades of restaurant experience later, he is returning to the restaurant this year as the chef.
Home Port Restaurant owner William Holtham confirmed yesterday that
he has accepted a signed offer from a private buyer for the Menemsha
pondfront property that was the subject of a recent town meeting vote.
Citing the delicate nature of real estate transactions, Mr. Holtham
said he would not reveal the potential buyer, purchase price, or any
other details until the deal is closed sometime next month.
After a two-hour debate that weighed the future of Menemsha against
the town's other priorities, Chilmark voters this week passed on
an opportunity to buy the Home Port restaurant and adjoining pondfront
properties for $3.9 million.
Occupying almost every available seat in the Chilmark Community Center, voters rejected a $2 million purchase of the Home Port restaurant at a special town meeting last night, flouting months of effort on the part of selectmen to acquire the Menemsha restaurant and surrounding property for public use.
As a result of last night’s vote, the longstanding Menemsha seafood restaurant will now likely go to Robert and Sarah Nixon, private buyers who signed an alternate purchase agreement with the current owners.
Chilmark voters face an important decision when they convene for a special town meeting later this month: whether to buy the Home Port restaurant for two million dollars in order to tear it down and build a parking lot and more public bathrooms.
The plan has been crafted principally by selectman J.B. Riggs Parker and has the support of the majority of the board.
With a town vote looming on whether to purchase the Home Port restaurant in Menemsha and turn it into municipal land, the long-running seafood restaurant closed its doors for the summer last Sunday, possibly never to reopen for business.
Meanwhile, two Chilmark innkeepers and restaurant owners have signed a new agreement with Home Port owners Will and Madeline Holtham to buy the property and keep the restaurant as a going concern if the town vote fails.
Chilmark selectmen signed an agreement Tuesday to purchase the Home Port restaurant, along with two neighboring waterfront lots, for a dramatically reduced price of $2 million.
The agreement, negotiated by selectman J.B. Riggs Parker on behalf of the board of selectmen with owners Will and Madeline Holtham, is almost half the price of a $3.9 million sale agreement rejected by Chilmark voters in 2005, though it does not include a lot with a dock currently used for restaurant parking.