PITTSFIELD,Mass. — Hangar of Pittsfield is looking to open by July after receiving the liquor license formerly held by Chameleons.
Harold Tramazzo owns three other Hangar Bar and Grills and is looking to purchase the former Chameleons and open his fourth restaurant there. He told the Licensing Board on Monday that he hopes to close on the purchase of the property in February, renovate the space, and then open mid-summer.
"There is a lot of work that needs to be done in that building. No one has been in there for years," Tramazzo said.
Chameleons closed in 2014 and has since been vacant. The property owner, Pamela Rice, has been looking to either sell it or find a new tenant. The biggest hurdle for Tramazzo in order to open was the liquor license, which he jumped easily with a unanimous vote of the Licensing Board.
"I've never had any citizens of Pittsfield approach me or call me regarding a change of manager or transfer of license. You have been an exception," Licensing Board member Richard Stockwell said. "People who have gone to your restaurant in Amherst really have raved about what you do there."
Hangar is a popular eatery, starting first next to the University of Massachusetts and has since expanded with restaurants in Westfield and Greenfield. The Greenfield one opened just last year.
"We're a sports bar, known to be a sports bar even though we don't put it on the sign. We are primarily known for our chicken wings," Tramazzo said.
In Pittsfield, the restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. every day except Monday. Monday it will open at 4 p.m. Tramazzo said he doesn't plan any entertainment beyond a jukebox.
Tramazzo said he will be putting managers in place from his other restaurants but most of the staff of nearly 40 will come from the Pittsfield area.
"I've had a liquor license for 20 years now in Amherst. We have had no citation with the ABCC in all of that time. We run a pretty tight ship," Tramazzo said.
In other business, the Licensing Board approved raising the fees for liquor licenses by 7 percent. The difference is half of what was originally proposed. The board had been looking to raise fees after nearly a decade as a way to help generate revenue for the city and offset the rising cost of staff time to process the licenses.
"This is being done because the fees have not been increased in nine years," Licensing Board member Diane Pero said.
The increase will bring an additional $8,000 into the city per year, Pero estimated. The increase was about half of what was proposed earlier this year but the owner of Madison's Cafe objected to such a sharp increase. The board agreed to lower the increase to help curb the additional burden on the small bars and taverns.
"There has been some compromise, which often is a good thing," Licensing Board member Thomas Campoli said.
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