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Helsinki on the Hudson

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Devotees of the late, eclectic Club Helsinki in Great Barrington will be cheered to learn its doors will open once again. But they'll have to trek a bit farther — the new club's in Hudson, N.Y.

A press release received Friday night said the new Club Helsinki Hudson will open this spring. Restoration of the 19th-century mill it selected as its permanent home is nearly complete and its begun hiring staff. According to the release, the new club "reflects the same spirit and vision that had such a profound impact on the Berkshires."

The combined business of Club Helsinki and Helsinki Cafe & Tea Co. closed up its Great Barrington location last August, with promises of a Hudson return.

The club brought a wide range of musicians from well-known rock bands such as Phish and Blood, Sweat and Tears,  artists in jazz, blues, folk, poets, vocalists and more. The cafe offered food with a Finnish flare and music, too.

Deborah McDowell founded the cafe in 1995, inspired by her grandfather's time operating the Hotel Helsinki in Finland. Marc Shafler joined her in 1997 and the club opened two years later in space next to the cafe.

The relocation to Hudson had been planned for some time but still caught Berkshire County off-guard. A press release in August announced the closure and a "Last Waltz Farewell" was held at the end of the month.

According to the new Club Helsinki Hudson Web site, California producer Cameron Melville has joined the partnership with McDowell and Shafler. The club's located at 405 Columbia St.; for more information, info@clubhelsinkiweb.com.

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