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Architect John Barry describes the renovations.
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A conceptual drawing of the building after renovations.

Former Royal Cleaners in Pittsfield Now Eyed For Marijuana Business

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The building at 68 Dalton Ave. has been vacant for years and was slated to be demolished.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The former Royal Cleaners is now eyed to be repurposed for a marijuana retail, cultivation, and manufacturing company.
 
The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a special permit for EOS Farm LLC to operate there. The plan is to use the majority of the building for cultivation and manufacturing of marijuana products and then use 600 square feet of frontage for retail.
 
"There are plantings along the front and the side to hide the residential property," said architect John Barry.
 
The company will be leasing from Raymond Frenkel, who also own and lease the adjacent residential properties. Engineer Brent White said an evergreen screen will be installed on the property boundary to separate the two uses. 
 
White added that the curb cut on Dalton Avenue will be removed and Harvard Street will be where the customers enter. The store hopes to be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. 
 
"I think it is a good use of a structure that has been sitting there for a couple of years," said ZBA member John Fitzgerald.
 
The board and a neighbor raised questions about odors and conditioned the permit so that if the odor becomes an issue, the company will have to come back before the board with a solution. 
 
The building had been most recently eyed to be demolished and Dunkin' Donuts planned to build a new restaurant there. The ZBA had granted that permit in 2017 but the plans never moved forward -- ending a political saga between city officials and the company. 
 
The Zoning Board has had steady interest in cannibis companies looking to open up shop since Massachusetts voters approved recreational sales. About 10 or so retailers have been approved, a half dozen or so cultivators have been approved, and two manufacturers have been approved on the local level.
 
However, despite the interest, only one entity is currently selling recreationally. Temescal Wellness on West Housatonic Street is the only recreational dispensary in Pittsfield right now and Berkshire Roots is expected to become the second soon, as it received its final permit from the state last month.
 
A number of other entities have shown interest but haven't moved forward with applications. A proposal for the former Countywide Rental building on Dalton Avenue was intended to become a dispensary but on Wednesday the ZBA accepted Pittsfield Investment Group's withdrawal.

Tags: ZBA,   marijuana,   tyler street,   

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Hinsdale Man To Compete In Professional BBQ Competition

Community Submission

Rinaldi with Myron Mixon, celebrity chef and four-time barbecue World Champion.
HINSDALE, Mass. — Professional barbecue teams from all over New England will compete at the Harpoon BBQ Festival in Windsor, Vt., on July 27-28, with hopes of being crowned the grand champion and earning a ticket to the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue. 
 
And Berkshire County's own George Rinaldi will be among them.
 
Rinaldi, 54, of Hinsdale, has been competing on the professional Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned circuit for eight years. He and his family travel to six or seven competitions annually. They've been all over New England, as well as in New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. At a typical event, competitors must deliver their entries in four categories (chicken, ribs, pork and brisket) to the master judges by pre-specified times — and not a second later.
 
Rinaldi's skills have earned many trophies, including a first-place prize for his Ribs Division win at a recent competition in New Jersey. 
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