NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It's been five years but local favorite Desperados is back. The Mexican restaurant will reopen downtown on Monday.
After purchasing the 23 Eagle St. location in September, owner David Atwell only has to wait for a few more permits and a little fine tuning before opening to the public.
"Monday we did a meet and greet with some of my vendors, some people from town, City Hall and friends and family to show them what we did to the place," Atwell said on Wednesday. "We'll have a soft opening to the public on Monday, Tuesday at the latest."
Confident the final licenses will be approved in the next couple of days, Atwell expects to fire up the kitchen this weekend. The North Adams location will feature the same menu as the one in the Colonial Shopping Center in Williamstown. It will be open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It will be closed on Sundays.
Atwell previously said that his first North Adams attempt, on Ashland Street, failed partly because of rental costs. This time, he owns it. Atwell closed with Legacy Bank to purchase the 4,200-square-foot property and its contents for $156,000 in September.
Despite taking over a location that has hosted a string of failed businesses, most recently The Alley which shut down abruptly in January, Atwell expects to stay for a long time.
"We've got 19 years of history in Williamstown so we finally got it right," Atwell said. "It's a small place, easy to manage and we've got a good following in North Adams. We expect to be in this location for a long time."
Atwell also said being one of the few Mexican dining places in the county will help him succeed where others have not.
The Alley on Eagle Street in North Adams apparently closed its doors last Sunday, Jan. 24, according to a post by on Facebook via Greg Roach.
Keith Noguiera and his father, Jack, opened the nightclub in September 2008 but ran into problems with the city at first trying to stage music acts because of the residences along the street, as well as getting patrons in for its limited sandwich and luncheon offerings. It often wasn't open during posted hours, leading a commenter back in November to wonder if it was still in business. No has posted on its Facebook page since Dec. 16.
On Sunday, January 24, the Alley closed its doors… for the last time. This was after one of our most amazing nights ever. We had a great dinner crowd and a rockin' night of karaoke. If you had known then, it would have only detracted from the evening and the fun we were having and that is the last thing I wanted.
My father and I are proud to have been a part of downtown North Adams. We are proud of every person we fed, every drink served, every Trivia and Comedy night, the dance parties, the bands and karaoke. We are proud and we are grateful to the people of North Adams for supporting us. Our only wish was that we could do so for longer.
We have met a lot of great people, as patrons, artists and performers and we thank them for helping to make our venture a success. And now we look forward to the future and whatever else life in this small town may bring to 23 Eagle Street. It is with a heavy heart, but with no regrets that I say, this is the Alley's Last Call.
The Alley's the latest casualty of 23 Eagle St. Gideon's Nightery (briefly EGL cafe), a clubbier version of Gideon's Restaurant on Holden Street, opened there but both eateries were shuttered after their owner fell into serious financial difficulties. Before that, Joga Cafe lasted a few years.
Update: On Friday, June 25, 2010, mortgageholder Legacy Banks purchased the property and its contents at auction for $155,000. Jack Noguiera bought the 4,200-square-foot property for $145,000 in 2007, also at auction.