New life in Oak Bluffs, Kennebec Ave!

by Kerry on May 25, 2009

Kennebec Oak Bluffs New VineyardMany have come before them, and many have failed…Kennebec Avenue in Oak Bluffs has housed it’s fair share of start-ups and entrepreneurs, trying their hand at a piece of the Vineyard Dream. Only slightly off the beaten path, Kennebec runs parralel to Circuit Avenue and is connected by a couple of walkways and the quirky gathering spot known as “Post Office Square”.

It seems a likely location, and has been successful for many Island mainstay’s such as Jimmy C’s Pasta restaurant, The Offshore Ale, Zapotec’s mexican restaurant as well as B-Strong gym. Despite the success of some, Kennebec Ave has not been nurturing to others and has seen many businesses peel off and expire or relocate to more hospitable and nurturing environments. There is the parking issue…more a town situation than specific to Kennebec Ave, but I believe that people are simply unaware of the undiscovered gem that awaits.

OB General store, kennebec aveNew this year, The Oak Bluffs General Store. Set in a Victorian cottage, this little convenience in the center of town has everything from cold drinks and snack food to rock n roll T-shirts and rainy day activities for the kids. I bought a collapsible cooler for my husband and a t-shirt that my 7 year old daughter can color then wash and color again! They sell flower baskets(!) and beek jerky. The young-ness of the business would lead me to believe that they would carry anything within reason, if you asked. Check it out.

The Sidecar Cafe and Bar is in it’s second season and has a steady group of local regulars as well as a growing reputation as a place to relax and have a drink if you’re not into the bar scene. Laid back and mellow, you can feel at home in this low key restaurant and still get a decent meal.

Across the street are the 1st floor condominiums that house both  clothing and pampering, side by side. Aequinox is a vintage clothing boutique that would put any LA or NYC Vintage store to shame. The collection is impeccable. The costume jewelry is first rate, and the wall of feathered and rhinestoned hats  are spectacular. The clothing is selected for it’s quality as well as style and the pieces are in perfect condition. Day and evening wear, fancy or not this is an undiscovered plum. Right next door and you find yourself in the fragrant garden of Rouge Luxe, a fine cosmetic and grooming haven for the discerning customer. I have been seduced by their candles and bubble bath, not the mention the dizziying array of face and hair products for men and women. If you are looking for Kiehls products, they cary them all!!!

Aequinox Kennebec OB blogRouge LuxeI Love MV kennebec Oak Bluffs Vineyard

Also new this year, are two businesses on the ground floor of the Nashua House Hotel. I Love MV Clothing and Apparel, a different king of t-shirt shop, has a big heart and a logo to match. Locally made jewelry and fun clothing make this another Kennebec Ave stop. Around the corner is a ladies clothing store called On Kennebec and I look forward to hitting them up after they set up shop, I am an excellent retail client for most apparel sellers!

The economy has not deterred these enthusiastic and welcome new businesses from the downtown core of the funkier of our beloved Vineyard towns. Oak Bluffs is always first to try new things, and we now have many new reasons to visit a once forgotten street. Kennebec Avenue is just what the doctor ordered in these times of economic uncertainty. Hope. Renewal. Faith. Community.

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