The board had latched onto a problematic clause in the bylaws that allowed it to dismiss a special permit if approving it would lead to "deterioration of properties" because of a saturation of similar commercial activities. But on Tuesday, it unanimously approved the special permit for Xing Li to operate a restaurant at 131 Columbia St. — a building away from a similar proposed eatery.
A new Mexican restaurant is looking to open in the former Baba Louie's location on Depot street in the next month or so.
Jose Luis Verde is looking to open Tito's, a new restaurant of a chain with establishments in Ohio and Tennessee. Verde received approval for the liquor license on Monday and as soon as the Okay is given by the state's Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the restaurant is ready to open.
Mingo's Sports Bar & Grill on Roberts Drive is getting a new owner. But don't expect too much change.
"We're really going to focus on the quality of the food coming out of the back," said Matt Moore, currently going through a training process with Mingo's as he learns the business. "It's always been good but I think we can always improve."
A potential Asian fusion restaurant owner seeking a special permit at Tuesday's Zoning Board of Appeals was upstaged — by another potential Asian fusion restaurant owner just two doors away.
The first was Xing Li, who had applied to operate a restaurant at 131 Columbia St., the former Berkshire County Stove property.
Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. Frank "Maurice" Savino loved the small Italian eateries, where the chef knew his name, what he liked, and always had something new on the menu.
When he moved to the Berkshire a decade ago, that intimate setting is something he missed. Last month, he opened up his own shop on North Street which provides lunch, dinner, and to-go items all homemade that day and with a personal touch.
Jae's Asian Bistro is moving to Pittsfield.
Attorney Jeff Lynch told the Licensing Board on Monday that he expects to have a change in name and manager soon for the former 7 Winter Grille on Winter Street. The building is owned by Susan Chung, who with her husband Jae Chung owner multiple restaurants. The Chungs plan to close the Lenox location of Jae's Asian Bistro and reopen on Winter Street until the name Jae's Grille, according to Lynch.
A new wine bar is planned for downtown.
Susan Jansen, who once was part owner of the former Halpins, is looking to open Regions Wine Bar and Nosh in the Crawford Square building. Jansen received a seasonal beer and wine license from the Licensing Board on Monday.
A pair of veteran restaurateurs are bringing traditional Korean and Japanese cuisine and sushi to the city.
The Korean Garden at 139 Ashland St. opened more than a week ago in the former Red Sauce location.
The Hot Dog Ranch is expected to open in the former Jimmy's Restaurant building in mid-March.
Manager Craig Benoit told the Licensing Board on Monday that the Linden Street restaurant will close on March 13 and as long as the certificate of occupancy is approved for the West Housatonic Street location, the Hot Dog Ranch will open there on March 17.
"We already had a number of pre-inspections," Benoit said.