After beach life, there comes night life

By Nicole Cammorata
Globe Staff / June 13, 2010

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Until recently, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs were the only towns on Martha’s Vineyard permitted to sell alcohol. Most establishments in the remaining dry towns let you bring your own and charged a corking fee. As soon as mid-July though, you can add Vineyard Haven to the list of places with alcohol on the menu. That’s when restaurants will begin applying for permits; town residents voted in April in support of beer and wine sales.

Edgartown is great for a laid-back drink at The Wharf (3 Main St., 508-627-9966), where there’s trivia on Tuesday nights and dancing on the weekends. For more upscale fare, there’s Atria (137 Main St., 508-627-5850) or Henry’s at the Harborview Hotel (131 North Water St., 508-627-7000).

Once the sun sets, Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs is the place to be. For dancing, there’s the Lampost (Circuit Avenue, 508-693-4032), which offers four floors of entertainment: live music in the basement Thursday through Saturday, pool tables on the main floor, live music Thursday and Friday and DJs on Saturday on the third floor. If you need a break from the commotion, there’s an air-conditioned lounge on the top floor.

For more live music, check out Offshore Ale Brewing Co. (Kennebec Avenue, 508-693-2626), where you can groove to a jazz band Tuesday nights or Irish music on Wednesdays, meanwhile munching truffle fries and sipping a cold one brewed on site.

On Saturday sing during karaoke at the newly revamped Seasons (19 Circuit Ave., 508-693-7129), where it’s not uncommon to hear someone put a Vineyard spin on a Johnny Cash song — “I shot a man in Chilmark / Just to watch him die’’ was the interpretation of “Folsom Prison’’ on a recent night.

Venture just off of Circuit Avenue to Nancy’s (29 Lake Ave., 508-693-0006) and take your drinks alfresco on the buzzing upstairs patio, while boats sway on the water below.

Finish up the night with a fresh-from-the-oven doughnut or apple fritter at Back Door Donuts, located at the rear entrance to Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Cafe & Bakery (5 Post Office Square, 508-693-3688) in an alleyway just off Circuit Avenue. A word of caution: The neighbors aren’t too keen on late-night revelers lining up outside their windows, so keep it down. The shop offers tasty treats nightly from 9 to 12:30 a.m., so make sure to time last call at the bar.