PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The chef and owner of Nudel, in Lenox, is looking to reopen The Lantern.
The Licensing Board gave its approval for Bjorn Somlo to take over the tavern's liquor license. The property is being bought by Mill Town Capital, as 449 North Street RE LLC.
"We're looking to take The Lantern ... and reopen in 2018, offering a mixture of creative small plates, sippable liqueurs, craft cocktails, and craft drafts," Somlo said.
The Lantern has been a longtime staple at the intersection of North and Linden streets for a century. But last year, owner Mark Papas closed it after the Fire Department took issue with a new deep frier that was not covered by the fire suppression system. Papas was asked to revamp the sprinkler system to comply with fire codes.
Somlo said he plans to retain much of the current aesthetics of the building while revamping the menu and offerings. At first, he isn't planning on serving lunch, only opening for small plate dinners. The alcohol beverages served are "designed to be sipped" and patrons would only have few, rather than many, he said.
"The food is going to be chef-driven and the people who are serving are doing the same thing. We want to put out something with character," Somlo said.
The restaurant's character is eyed to fit with Methuselah, Mission, and Dottie's, all of which have opened on that part of North Street in recent years. That portion of North Street was the last to receive an upgrade during the decadelong streetscape project.
Last year, Framework, a co-working space, opened less than a block away. That, too, is headed by Mill Town Capital.
"We're hoping to join those people at that end of North Street," Samlo said. "I've been trying to make something happen in Pittsfield for over 15 years."
The Licensing Board said Somlo's reputation as a businessman and a chef speaks for itself.
"I think it is exciting for the city of Pittsfield to have somebody of your caliber coming to Pittsfield," said Chairman Thomas Campoli.
Member Richard Stockwell said, "Pittsfield is very fortunate and very lucky that he is investing in North Street."
In other business, the Licensing Board gave its OK for Chili's to open in the former Old Country Buffet location. The chain restaurant is looking to move into the Berkshire Crossing Shopping Plaza later this year.
"We would like to open this year but it depends on the build-out, construction, and negotiations with the landlord," said Attorney Andrew Upton, representing the restaurant.
Chili's is a southwestern, family restaurant. There are more than 30 in Massachusetts and more than 500 across the country, according to Upton.
Upton said the company plans to hire as many as 80 workers to operate the restaurant.
The Licensing Board also approved the expansion of Otto's restaurant despite neighbor Kermit Goodman's concerns about security and truck traffic. Goodman owns property on First Street and the rights to easements onto Wendell Avenue Extension. He said often delivery trucks are blocking his access to the street and he fears the license will only increase traffic.
Further, he recalled a stabbing that happened at a former bar in the area and has concerns the Otto's serving alcohol at night without proper security could lead to trouble.
"These events tend to leave a very long memory and very unpleasant one," Goodman said.
Attorney Thomas Hamel said Otto's Breakfast & Deli will be more along the lines of Patrick's Restaurant, which is based more on the food than the bar service.
The Licensing Board felt that truck traffic is out of its authority and that the restaurant does not have a track record of having trouble with security.
"If the delivery trucks are occurring now, I don't see that much of a difference," said member Dennis Powell.
Hamel said deliveries are all in compliance with city ordinances and doesn't believe it would be appropriate for a city board to enact stricter restrictions on where and when the restaurant can receive deliveries than any other license holder in the city.
"I don't think this board has the right, in fact, I am almost positive we don't have the right, to tell vendors they can't come to different places and deliver products," Stockwell said.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Pittsfield Nationals Hold Off Holden, Secure Sectional Title
By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Monday’s sectional final in the Little League 8- to 10-year-old tournament had a little of everything: big offensive rallies, sterling defense, gutsy pitching and drama.
A little more drama than anyone expected going to the bottom of the sixth and a whole lot more drama than the hometown fans wanted to see.
But, in the end, the Pittsfield Little League National Division All-Stars held on for a 10-9 win and a berth in the state tournament.
The Nats, playing as designated visitors on their Myron Gray Field, took a 10-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but Holden rallied to draw within one and had runners at second and third when Brenden Socie struck out the second man he faced to end the game.
Keep it simple.
That's what Edward Carmel believes. But he doesn't believe the current City Council is doing that. He feels the council spins its wheels tinkering with things and not accomplishing anything. click for more
Dina Guiel Lampiasi believes there is room for compromise even if it doesn't seem that way.
Lampiasi is seeking to fill the Ward 6 City Council seat being vacated by John Krol. She feels she brings a collaborative approach and a deep understanding of how government works to the table. click for more
In the 1800s residents really wanted a place to recreate, to hold events and dances, to play sports.
George Burbank answered the call. The developer had built much the city's downtown with homes, a hotel, a theater, and many buildings in the North Street area. He had constructed some 300... click for more
Jay Hamling starts by listening.
And his patient will tell them what's wrong and then he'll try to figure out not only what is causing the problem and how to fix it. It's what's he does. He's a nurse. click for more
Simon Mele turned Friday’s final of the Donald Gleason District 1 10- to 12-year-old Little League Tournament into his own personal derby, launching three round-trippers to left and lifting the Pittsfield Americans to a 15-1 win over Great Barrington in four innings. click for more
Harry Chandler was taken into custody on Robbins Avenue Thursday afternoon.
The Berkshire County Sheriff's Office and Pittsfield Police apprehended Chandler inside an apartment at 3 Robbins Avenue around 2:30 in the afternoon. Chandler had been on the run since Monday when he overpowered a... click for more