Longtime North Adams eatery Gringos reopens on Park Street in Adams to reunite with former regulars.
ADAMS, Mass. — Gringos owner David Nicholas did not advertise that he was reopening at the former Firehouse Cafe on Park Street in hopes to have a quiet time to work out any kinks. That did not happen.
"It was the talk to the town for about six months and when we opened it was mobbed. Absolutely mobbed," he said.
Gringos, a longtime North Adams staple, was forced to close four years ago when the city sold the North Adams Plaza. When the Firehouse Cafe closed, Nicholas and his friend Burton Kirk, owner of the firehouse that once housed the Adams Ambulance, teamed up to reopen. Despite being closed for four years, Gringos was not forgotten.
Gringos Owner David Nicholas is confident that a new Park Street location will be a success.
"It's just been a great response. You see a huge amount of familiar faces that I used to see four years ago," Nicholas said. "Gringos didn't close because of a lack of business."
Only a small sign on the front windows announces that the cafe is now Gringos, yet word of mouth has led to a busy six weeks since it opened, Nicholas said. A larger sign is currently being made.
"I think it'll be successful. It'll make money," he said. "It's just been a great response."
The former Firehouse Cafe recently closed down because of a lack of business. Kirk was leasing it out but when the cafe closed, it seemed it would sit empty.
The building is filled with history and character, Nicholas said. It was built in 1890 and served as the town's first firehouse. The restaurant seats patrons where the trucks used to be. The only drawback, he said, is that it is smaller than the North Adams location.
The restaurant has a smaller but similar menu with mostly Mexican but also some American food. It is open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., and on Friday through Sunday, from 4 to 11 p.m.
It sounds a little weird and it wasn't what I expected when I walked into Nana's Country Market in Adams. What caught me was the sandwich board outside that said "Ham and cole slaw."
It was about 4 p.m. ; going back to the office meant no dinner until after a city council meeting and a ham sandwich sounded pretty good. I've been meaning to stop in at Nana's and this seemed a good a time as any.
Jill Richardson and Frank Willis opened the tiny market and deli a few months ago. I'd watched the progress on the building just down from Angelina's as I'd sped by on my way up and down Route 8.
Look at that bread!
Getting there isn't all that easy. Columbia Street can be tough to cross at that time of day, so I turned around in the carwash and found a parking spot right in front.
Richardson was manning the counter as I perused the sandwich offerings, all around $5. The turkey with cranberry sounded good, so did the roast beef. (The market also offers sliced meat to go along with the staples of bread and milk.) But I came in for ham.
What's on the sandwich, I asked. "Ham, cheese, a slice of tomato and cole slaw on white, wheat or rye," she responded. Cole slaw on the sandwich? Yes, cole slaw on the sandwich.
This I had to try. My only change was the addition of some lettuce to hopefully help hold the dripping to a minimum. "You'll need a napkin," said Richardson.
Honestly, it wasn't that drippy. It was a nice mix of regular and red cabbage with carrots — not to vinegary and not mayo-gloppy. It went well with the sliced ham in between two slabs of homemade rye bread. Really good rye bread.
I could get used to having my side order on my main course and I'll definitely be trying Nana's next interesting concoction.