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Bisque, Beads & Beyond Looking At McClelland's Storefront

Andy McKeever

Bisque, Beads & Beyond owner Donna Rivers at the grand opening of her Pittsfield location. Rivers may host another ribbon-cutting ceremony as she now looks to open a second storefront on Main Street in North Adams.

McClelland's Office Supply closed up its Main Street location last week after 28 years.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The empty space of McClelland's Office Supply has barely had the chance to get cold before a prospective replacement was found.

Pittsfield-based arts and crafts store Bisque, Beads and Beyond will look at the Main Street location as a possible second storefront. The company already has a store on North Street in Pittsfield but according to owner Donna Rivers, more than 30 percent of her business comes from the north.

"I've been looking at North County for five years," Rivers said on Friday. "We wouldn't be moving. This location is working well for me so we'd be opening a second store."

Rivers said she was approached by city councilors about the 85 Main St. location after the office supply store decided to close. Rivers expects to look at the site next week with David Bond, who does commercial leasing for the building's owner, Scarafoni Associates. Bond is also a city councilor.

"I think this is the type of business we need downtown," Bond said on Monday. "My goal is by the end of the year to fill all the empty spots downtown."

The crafts store had come close to a downtown location before but the deals always fell through, she said. The business requires a lot of space to accommodate its materials and many workshops at a reasonable price and McClelland's may be just right. The space previously was Apothecary Hall, once renowned for its mocha sundaes.

"I've looked a couple times under the previous administration but I couldn't put it together," Rivers said. "It's definitely a possibility. If I don't do it now, I don't know when there will be another chance."

According to Bond, the McClelland's building is 3,000 square feet - right in the range Rivers is hoping for. If Rivers likes the location, the two will negotiate a rental price, Bond said.

"We're willing to work with anyone to make the numbers work," Bond said. "We'll have an honest discussion about what the business can afford for rent and we'll set up a rent structure that would work."

Rivers said city councilors have been helpful in ushering in the possible expansion and told her the business would fit well with the city's long-term plans.

"We'd be a really good mix up there," Rivers said.

Bond said the craft store fits because it is unique,  is not a competitor with the "big box stores" and brings the creative element that the city is trying to embrace.

McClelland's announced it was closing in early January, after 28 years at several locations on Main Street, and was liquidating its merchandise.

Shortly after Bond met Rivers through common friends and found out she wanted a North County location.

On Wednesday, the McClelland's lettering over the windows was scraped off. The store sold greeting cards, gifts and limited stationery and office supplies. Its store on Spring Street in Williamstown closed last year after more than 80 years in business.

Rivers opened her North Street location last July. The store offers workshops in ceramics, beading and other crafts to all ages.

Edited with more information on Feb. 26, 2011, at 2:30 p.m.

Edited with quotes from David Bond on Feb. 28, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.

Tags: Main Street, North Adams, Bisque Beads and Beyond, McClelland's      
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