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A Little Bad Martha, A Lot of Good

Blum had very specific inspirations when dreaming up the original Bad Martha. “He had been out to the wineries in Napa Valley and loved the architecture and style. He knew of some buildings done here in New England by the Amish and loved the work and craftsmanship. He wanted that same feel,” says Flanders. Riehl Construction, an Amish building company who have completed countless barn raises on Martha’s Vineyard, worked with Blum and award-winning Vineyard architect Patrick Ahearn to create the distinctive barn in Edgartown. When it came time to build the Falmouth location, Pometti took the design from Edgartown and modified it. “Blum wanted to keep that theme, so we took the barn from the Vineyard and kept the outside the same but redesigned the interior,” says Pometti. “On the Vineyard, the barn itself is the entire brewery, including the tasting area and the brewing equipment. In Falmouth, the majority of it is for the bar, the tasting and the retail. There are two tanks in the brew house portion, which is all behind a glass partition. The barn, as in Edgartown, is all post and beam without any nails. We used a lot of the same design features that were used on the Vineyard, but there’s a lot more space in Falmouth.” 

Working on Bad Martha Falmouth was a unique opportunity for Pometti, who had never worked on a commercial build before. Working as both the designer and builder with his two companies, Architectural Innovations Inc. and AI Enterprises Inc., Pometti says, “It was unique in the sense that I hadn’t done a commercial building, so there was a lot more to deal with relative to permitting and such. But, one of the reasons I took it on was that there were many things about it similar to building a house. It wasn’t like I was going to systems I hadn’t done before. It was conventionally framed with wood, and on the outside with cedar vertical siding and a wood cedar roof. I didn’t feel too out of my comfort zone.”

Like their Edgartown predecessor with Donaroma’s Nursery, Bad Martha Falmouth neighbors a garden center; this time, Mahoney’s. The natural wood exterior next to the colorful garden center creates a seamless, organic street view on busy Rt. 28. “We couldn’t have asked for a better setting. Plus, we don’t have to do the landscaping ourselves,” Flanders laughs. “When we started looking for property, we decided to keep to the same business model and started talking to nurseries over here.” The influence of the neighboring nursery is evident, as Flanders talks about the creation of the Mellow Meadow Beer Garden. When purchasing the land, Bad Martha took the two lots next to Mahoney’s, which had previously held the Oysters Too restaurant and its parking lot. “Everything was removed, and we planted a bunch of seeds and created a meadow of wildflowers,” says Flanders of the space that would come in handy during a time no one saw coming. Once restaurants were allowed to open back up following the coronavirus shut down, Flanders and his team took advantage of the space to create a picture-perfect outdoor seating area. The meadow is adorned with statues from a Martha’s Vineyard sculpture artist, Thomas Maley, who passed away in 2000. The meadow helps to fulfill an original goal of the project. “One of the main goals of the new building was having a great street presence, which I think it does,” says Pometti. “But at the same time, since Rt. 28 is so busy, we wanted fairly extensive landscaping to help visitors feel like they’re not right on a busy road, while sitting in the beer garden.”

While having a garden center next door certainly helps with the stunning street presence, Mike Cotto, owner of Out on a Limb landscaping, worked closely with Flanders and Pometti to create the inviting landscaping, including creating the basis for what would become the Mellow Meadow. “I’ve been friends with Peter Pometti for years, so it was a lot of fun working with everyone at Bad Martha,” says Cotto of the experience.

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