Last year you might remember my love affair with Behind the Bookstore — the coffee bar behind Edgartown Books. With its cozy space off Main Street (behind Edgartown Books), its amazing coffee, and good vibes, it was one of my favorite places for a coffee break, and where I liked to write.
Well, it reopened for the season Saturday May 25th, and I have to say the love affair continues. There are big changes. It used to be in a small space at the back of Edgartown Books.
Now, it has its very own building. Behind the Bookstore is now where the law offices used to be in back.
The new space is big and open, and can handle the lines of people waiting to get a perfectly prepared cup of coffee. I couldn’t believe how busy the place was already.
There is ample counter space for everything, including the case that holds all the yummy breakfast and lunch treats. There are some great new additions like the smoked trout toast shown below, but some of the old favorites are still there, like the bacon and date scone.
With a new, larger kitchen, there’s going to be an interesting and tasty menu for the second season of Behind the Bookstore.
There’s also a large cooler with boutique beverages including Mexican Coke – which is a personal favorite of owner, Jeffrey Sudikoff. You’ll also find some prepared foods made there (the new kitchen is quite large), including quinoa salad and other fresh salads.
The Faces Behind the Counter
The amazing barista from last year, Phill Kim is back. He almost stayed in New York City, but the Vineyard and btb has become very special to him. He felt he had to come back.
He’s excited about all the changes and looks forward to another summer of making amazing coffee and memories. Also, he has a new hat this summer. It hasn’t come in the mail yet.
It’s a Stetson and I can’t wait to see it. Long before Pharell Williams, Phill Kim was wearing the ranger style hat, but no more.
There are some new faces too. John Holland-Evans is one of the supervisors this year. A mixologists by trade, this adorable, friendly guy might be mixing up some surprises at Behind the Bookstore this year with beverages that also contain alcohol.
Behind the Bookstore is getting its beer and wine license next month. This could open up a lot of possibilities for evening events. We’ll have to see what fun this leads to.
Another new addition is Thomas Neilan. He too hails from L.A. like Phill does, and they met while opening an Intelligencia coffee bar in California. Thomas is very passionate about coffee.
He believes in the coffee Behind the Bookstore uses, Intelligencia, because it’s not only an amazing product but also a responsible coffee company, one that cares about its employees and environment.
Thomas has learned why people love Martha’s Vineyard quickly — the physical beauty surrounding us and the pace. The pace here is so relaxed compared to L.A. People have time to talk and enjoy the moment a bit more.
For Thomas, that means an opportunity to make connections with customers getting coffee. The coffee at btb takes a little bit longer than a regular cup, and that allows for a little conversation. These relationships are a rewarding part of a barista’s day.
Thomas is a big fan of craft coffee roasters. Like craft beers, these roasters are smaller, less known, and tend to be very unique. Thomas is hoping to feature some of the craft coffee roasters he’s come to know, and introduce people to small, interesting, different coffee brands.
At Behind the Bookstore people might be surprised. Coffee made there is given a little TLC. The people behind the counter making it consider it an art form.
Each drink is made with attention to detail. When you’re there, take a moment and watch the process. It’s a different experience than most other places.
More to Come
As of right now, there is only outdoor seating. This is fine for me. I love the outside space, and soon the sails will be up like last year to hinder some of the sunlight.
However, there will soon be inside space. The old Behind the Bookstore location is going to become a lounge of sorts. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy your beverage inside if you like.
Also, this inside space will be open up to Edgartown Books, and will be used to hold events too. Edgartown Books holds a lot of events throughout the summer, and this will be perfect for larger crowds and rainy days.
It also has the potential for more events in the fall. Think book clubs and story hour for the kiddos, and with the addition of beer and wine — whoohoo who knows what fun might be possible.
With the new space and the new people, I highly recommend that you check out Behind the Bookstore. It’s open daily from 6:30 a.m to 7:00 p.m. I bet it will become one of your favorite spots too.
See you over there. I’ll be writing away all Summer long. Maybe even into the Winter months too because it might stay open later this year!
If you missed Behind the Bookstore’s inaugural season, check out Behind the Scenes of Martha’s Vineyard’s Newest Coffee Bar, Behind the Bookstore. You can find out more about barista Phill Kim and what one of my favorite coffee drinks is there.
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