NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Mark Petrino is calling it quits and heading West.
"I'm ready for something new," said a cheerful Petrino on Tuesday, who opened his namesake cafe on the Main Street corner barely a year ago. What's new is an offer he couldn't refuse from Colorado State, which will put him back into college food service.
It was Williams College that brought him to the Berkshires, then long miles traveling to colleges around the area for for AVI Foodsystems put him back into restaurant mode. Now he's ready for academia again.
Petrino's is the third eatery to try the corner of Holden and Main, following in the footsteps of the Cup & Saucer and Applachian Bean. It offered up fresh and local fare for breakfast and lunch, with various wraps along with some really great burgers, coffees and specialties. All the sandwiches were named after "relatives" to give it a homey touch. Our favorite is the Cousin Mary (chicken, chipotle sauce and Provolone) with an occasional Counsin Paulie (turkey, spring greens and feta on a panini roll).
It's no secret that the restaurant biz is the hardest, and this season has been brutal — too much snow and cold was keeping people inside. The restaurant has been closed on Mondays since February and rumors of its closure were going around weeks ago. Asked last week on the eatery's status, Petrino said he hadn't made a decision yet.
But Petrino says the new owner (he didn't want to say who yet) is in negotiations with building owner David Carver and is expected to take ownership as soon as next week. The new proprietor is considering getting an alcohol license and change to later hours, he said.
The cafe could close for a couple weeks to give the new owner a chance to do some renovations and "put his stamp on it," said Petrino, but it will be open in time for the avalanche that is the Solid Sound Festival in June.
"He knows Wilco is a cash cow," said Petrino, "he'll be open."
On a related note, we received some concern over the status of Desperados on Eagle Street on Monday after a large blue tarp was seen covering the entrance. No vandalism, broken glass or anything drastic — the restaurant was putting down new floor tile and had covered the entranceway to create a workspace.
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You will be missed Mark! What a great restaurant you created with delicious food, good prices and a great environment. You and your family deserve smooth sailing ahead but the Berkshires just won't be the same without you.
This really boils my blood. This guy talked a good game when he first set up shop. He clearly had no intentions of making this a long term deal. Did he really think he was going to knock it out of the park his first year?
They need someone in there with a realistic business plan. Someone who understands the area and the potential customers needs.
The last post wasn't me. I don't know why people use my name. I do believe what they say though. my daughter had a wrap, which had bad mozzarella on it. She almost puked. She was 17 at the time, and did not complain. She didn't finish the wrap either, and the waitress didn't even ask what was wrong.
The planning board, or whatever agency has the authority, should really limit the number of restaurants/eateries in town. There are just too many spreading the available dining money too thin for anyone to make a living.
It's a shame this place is closing. The few times my girlfriend and I dined there was terrific. Whenever we are back in the area, we make it a point to stop for lunch. Steak and cheese was so good. But, once again the "Good Ole' Boys" mentality that is North Adams wins. Keep giving your business to Jack's and Village...Even though places like Petrino's and Supreme Pizza serve MUCH better food...Say what you will, but Village can't hold a candle to Supreme...and Jack's...LOL...what can you say about Jack's?
Doesn't local government sell limited numbers of liquor licenses? Gas stations? Housing projects? Big box stores? Maybe your area does have too many eateries, and maybe part of your economic depression is the result of your unwillingness to acknowledge the possibility that you really do have too many eateries. Or, you could just keep burning through cafes on the corner of Holden & Main, as if there's nothing wrong...