'Chef Alex' and owner Farhi Karakaya are reopening MediTerra in North Adams as an Italian restaurant.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — New restaurant Ta Bellas is bringing Italian cuisine back to North Adams.
Owner Fahri Karakaya has reopened Mediterra on Main Street as an Italian restaurant, which the city has not had since the closing of Red Sauce two years ago and Isabella's a year or so before that.
"This area in Northern Berkshire needs an Italian restaurant," Karakaya said. "The menu is purely Italian, and the name is Ta Bellas, 'the beautiful tables.'"
Karakaya explained that he made the switch to Italian because his newly hired chef specializes in Italian cooking. "Chef Alex," most recently of Haflinger Haus in Adams, felt North Adams was in need of an Italian restaurant and wanted to bring his skills to the table.
"He is very dedicated and ambitions, and I am hoping it is going to work," Karakaya said. "That’s why I changed it based on his experience and his ideas."
This is Karakaya's third try at an eatery in two years in the corner location that was once the Boston Store. The Local opened in 2012 as a sandwich and coffee shop, similar to previous occupants Petrino's and Cup & Saucer. Last year, he switched to a Mediterranean menu but closed in the fall to concentrate on a new restaurant on Spring Street in Williamstown.
Although Ta Bellas is open, Karakaya chose to have a soft opening to see how it does and how his newly constructed menu and team work. Karakaya is experimenting with the new restaurant so he can provide the best service during a grander opening.
"I don't mind if I serve a couple of tables, and you can't always see the problem when you try something new and different, he said. "Make it go slowly, and if there is a problem you can easily fix it."
Ta Bellas started serving a small lunch menu in addition to dinner. Karakaya said eventually he would like to serve Sunday breakfast.
"Since I have taken over this place, Sundays have been my best days ever," Karakaya said. "Many people are going to church and after church everyone is here."