You know what they say about waterfront property?
They aren’t making any more of it!
And this is even more true in New England with all the zoning restrictions on every inch of our seacoast. As I’ve pointed out in the past, many oceanfront restaurants eventually fail and end up as private residences – never to serve the public again!
Here in Mattapoisett, the Silver Gull and the Harbor Beach Club were fine dining spots when I was a kid and now they’re both someone’s home. I’m sure this is happening everywhere.
The other trend I’ve noticed is boatyards and marina’s adding an additional revenue stream by creating a food service venue on their property.
This was very successfully accomplished with The Chartroom & Kingman Marine in Pocasset, and The Sail Loft & South Wharf in Padanaram.
On Thursday I visited the new West Island Marina and met with the owners Jim and Mary Moraux where they discussed their vision for the marina.
I think they might be the next great seaside eatery inside a marina/boatyard.
West Island Marina isn’t exactly new. It’s been Earl’s Marina forever. Earl did open a kitchen and bar, but the entire venture was low key and appeared underfunded.
Last year Jim and Mary became co-owners and recently bought out the former owner and changed the name.
One quick look at their new websitetold me these folks meant business.
Great Small Boat Destination
I remember about 15 years ago heading to New Bedford in my 26′ Boston Whaler. I had Mrs. Horne, her sister Gail, our daughter Natalie and my nieces Meagan and Mallory on board. As we approached West Island, the waves got bigger as we headed away from shore to avoid the rocks. Pretty quickly, the girls decided it was just too scary – we turned around and went home.
I think this is true for a lot of small boat owners coming from Mattapoisett, Aucoot Cove, or Marion. It’s pretty smooth sailing until you have to clear West Island. This is what makes West Island Marina an ideal destination for many folks on the south side of Buzzards Bay.
If you head there from the north, keep an eye out for Cormorant Rock. It’s well offshore and rather ominous looking…
Also be aware there are a couple of large rock outcroppings entering the harbor, but the water around them is pretty deep. Jim and Mary own a Hatteras 52 that draws 60″ of water and they bring it into the marina. The channel is deep enough for larger boats and well marked with private Red/Green buoys.
On The Waterfront
The Moraux’s have already begun upgrading the waterfront. They have a first class ramp for launching boats single handed. They are adding new dockage, pulling out old pilings, and they have permits to extend the transient dock from 100′ to 500′!
So far, they’ve been able to tie up everyone who’s come in. They also have a few transient slips for anyone looking to stay over. They aren’t on Dockwa yet, but Mary told me they use it frequently when they’re out on their boat.
They Understand Dock and Dine!
As boaters, Jim and Mary truly understand the meaning of Dock and Dine. And while West Island Marina is still a marina/boatyard, they are fully committed to creating a great spot for folks in boats of all sizes to come in, tie up, grab something eat (or drink) and enjoy live music.
Although the Off The Hook Bar and Grille looks a bit like Earl’s old place, the furniture is new, it’s bright, and thanks to the Buzzards Bay sea breeze, it’s quite airy!
As seaside Bar and Grilles go, the current spot works fine, but Mary told me that they have plans to convert the barn near the outside tables into a dining room with a garage door that can open east toward Buzzards Bay on nice days.
As I mentioned above, Jim and Mary are committed to providing live music – even Saturday and Sunday afternoons. As someone who’s sampled every Dock and Dine on Buzzards Bay, I can assure you this is a rare treat.
In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the Sail Loft in Padanaram on (Sundays at 3:00) and Fisherman’s View near Sandwich Marina (which is technically not even Buzzards Bay) are the only spots with live afternoon music near Buzzards Bay.
Off The Hook has live performers on Saturday afternoon (2-5) and Sunday (1-5.) They also have music Thursday (6:00), Friday (7:30), Saturday (7:30), and Sunday (5:00) nights.
I also like their commitment to social media. The Off The Hook Facebook page is constantly updated with the names of the musicians performing and the time/dates.
The Marina also host other activities and lists those on the West Island Marina Facebook Page. This weekend the Fairhaven Firefighters Association is hosting a fishing tournament.
I haven’t tried the food yet, but I hope to do so soon (I’ll probably call ahead to make sure they have room for Vigilant before heading over).
Thus far they’re not on Yelp, so I suggest anyone reading this go to yelp, start a review page, and post your reviews.
The old restaurant – Down The Hatch, is still on yelp and has pretty good ratings. I doubt Jim and Mary would serve anything less!
Here’s the June 1, 2018 menu. The locals I spoke to raved about the Fish Tacos. They have all the classic fried seafood most folks want on a Dock and Dine day out. The Mediterranean Fish sandwich looks interesting too.
Once we get over there and/or people start reviewing on yelp, I’ll update this post.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for Dock and Dine with live weekend afternoon music, check out West Island Marina and if you do, drop me an email and share your experience.