At the corner of North and Bradford streets, the somewhat obscure, infrequently open local poetry bar Y Bar will be transformed into the Y Not Bar and Lounge under the management of Yuki Cohen.
Cohen said the new establishment will be a relaxed lounge atmosphere boasting a full bar and a "farm-to-table"-style menu.
"Simple, but good," said Cohen of the menu, which is still in development but will feature local meats, cheeses and produce. "It's still very preliminary."
A "rustic chic" aesthetic invoking "Manhattan in the Berkshires" will inform the atmosphere of the lounge, which is not applying for a club license, so any entertainment offered will be low-key. Cohen told iBerkshires she is seeking to create an atmosphere that will be "elegant, but very laid back and unpretentious," for the lounge, which will be open evenings until midnight seven days a week.
"I love downtown," said Cohen, who will manage the new venture while continuing to work for Berkshire Bank. "I really feel like I can contribute to Pittsfield."
Y Not Bar and Lounge is slated to open Oct. 1 of this year.
A few blocks away on upper West Street, the former Brix restaurant space will become District Kitchen & Bar. District will be run by North Adams restaurateur Jared Decoteau, proprietor of Public Eat & Drink
Decoteau said the new location will be similar in concept to his popular North Adams eatery, with an "emphasis on full-service restaurant with American craft food," with a full-service bar.
Sandwiches, entrees, a good selection that appeals to a broad section of the community, according to Decoteau, who said he will also attempt to source ingredients locally where possible.
"I'm hoping to bring the same sensibility to Pittsfield," from the North Adams establishment, Decoteau told the city's Licensing Board, though the West Street location will be around half the capacity.
District will run seven days a week, with a closing time of midnight.
The former Brix space, which was briefly open last year as Phineas Gage's Moral High Ground, will undergo some renovation, and Decoteau anticipates an opening date in August 2014.