MediTerra In North Adams Closed for Winter
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The MediTerra restaurant closed abruptly in mid-November after revamping its menu for a third time.
A sign recently appeared in the window stating the restaurant was only closed for the winter and would re-open next April, and encouraging patrons to try its sister restaurant in Williamstown.
Owner Fahri Karakaya responded to queries from patrons on Facebook that it was difficult to run the North Adams location during the winter.
"We invested quite a bit there, we will be open in April," he wrote. "Unfortunately, winter business doesn't pay the expenses and keeping close[d] is less cost for us. Hope you understand the reason from the business perspective."
The restaurant had also closed in October during the opening of Karakaya's new Pera Mediterranean Bistro on Spring Street in Williamstown. It had been the site of Mayor Richard Alcombright's victory party on Nov. 5, and his campaign kickoff last spring.
The location at the corner of Holden and Main street has housed four eateries since Appalachian Bean shut its doors nearly a decade ago (the spot used to be part of the Boston Store). A second coffee shop, Cup & Saucer, operated there from 2006 until closing in 2009; next was Petrino's, which transformed it into a sandwich shop but closed after barely a year.
Karakaya made plans to renovate and reopen the spot about six months later as The Local, offering similar fare as Petrino's but seeking to be more Panera-like. The eatery didn't really take off and Karakaya was further hobbled by red-tape delays in getting a beer and wine license, which his nearby competitors had.
The eatery went through a couple different chefs and managers, reopening as MediTerra last June with more focus on the Mediterrean dishes Karakaya grew up on and switching to a sitdown dinner atmosphere. In the meantime, he opened Pera, which by all accounts is booming.
Pera offers a similar menu as well as weekend jazz and late-night menus on Fridays and Saturdays.
North Adams diners with hankering for Mediterranean food, there's still Christo's Pizza on Holden Street.
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Italian Restaurant Closed in North Adams
|The Red Sauce sign has been removed from 139 Ashland St. The Italian restaurant closed Sept. 1 after six years of operation. Left, Eddie Ciccherini after winning the annual Winterfest Chowder Cookoff in 2008.
The Italian restaurant had been operated by chef/owner Edward Ceccherini since 2006.
Scott Avery, whose family owns the building, said Friday morning that he was unsure of the exact reasons why the restaurant had closed but thought it may have been for personal reasons.
He said the Ceccherinis had been good clients and kept the restaurant in excellent condition.
A sign posted on the door by Avery stated the closing and noted "The Avery family would like to express best wishes to the Ceccherinis after operating a very well received, viable business for nearly 6 years at this location."
The Averys purchased the former Peno's bar in 2000 from Robert Pontier. Scott Avery, himself a restaurateur, remodeled the bar and opened Canteen. Desperados had a location there for several years (it has since reopened on Eagle Street) before Red Sauce opened in 2006.
The restaurant seats more than 100 and has a double kitchen. Avery said anyone interested in leasing the site for the "next talked about" restaurant or bar can contact him at 413-663-4374.
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Jae's Spice in Pittsfield Closes
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The long-rumored closure of Jae's Spice has occurred, but over a lease, not sales, according to the parties involved.
Jae Chung's North Street restaurant and Shabu 297, opened in the former Pressbox around the corner, were shuttered Tuesday night.
The Berkshire Eagle reports that business partners Lawrence M. Rosenthal and Joyce S. Bernstein, the restaurants' owners and founders of the original Spice restaurant there, have declined to renew their lease with Chung.
Bernstein told The Eagle they would reopen the North Street restaurant next week as Spice Dragon with Huy Huynh and Phang Huynh, who own 20 Railroad Street in Great Barrington and the Dragon Steakhouse on West Housatonic Street.
BTW, the Huynhs are the brothers of "Top Chef" Hung Huynh, who won the Bravo reality show in 2007. The Dragon Steakhouse was operated by the Huynhs' parents for years as Kim's Dragon. It had been open off and on since an oil tanker accident closed it in 2005 and reopened last year as a steakhouse. The Huynh brothers bought the former pub at 20 Railroad St. in 2008.
Chung had a three-year lease to run the restaurant under Jae's Inc. The original Spice was closed March 2008 after it incurred losses of more than $1.2 million. He told The Berkshire Eagle that he'd tried to extend the lease but the parting was amicable.
The former North Adams resident has operated a number of restaurants in the Boston area but ran into difficulties in North County with both Jae's Inn and Miss Adams Diner, among other ventures. He still owes thousands in state and federal tax according to MassLandRecords but has paid off a large sum.
Chung said he plans to reopen in another location.
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Petrino's Cafe Changing Hands
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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Alley's a Dead End
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.
According to the posting found by Roach, one of the Noguieras wrote:
|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.
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