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The Parlor Cafe Opens in North Adams

By John Durkan
iBerkshires Staff

Jason Morin and Elizabeth Osimo pose at the bar of their recently opened shop, The Parlor Cafe, located on 303 Ashland St.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Last year a popular coffee and tea shop, The Elf Parlor, closed its doors for good.

But on Wednesday, a new coffee and tea shop, The Parlor Cafe, opened in its place.

"It's a love story," owner Jason Morin said. "I can't name anybody that wasn't heartbroken when it was closed."
 
Morin opened the shop with Elizabeth Osimo after spending about two months renovating the Ashland Street building. Morin has business experience running his own website-building service, BerkSites, while Osimo previously worked as a barista and bakes the goods.
 
The Parlor Cafe uses Dean's Beans, which is roasted in Orange and uses certified fair trade, organic and kosher beans, for its coffee. A 10-ounce to-go cup or a house mug costs $1.67 and a 16-ounce to-go cup costs $2.04.
 
An array of Ann Arbor tea flavors are also available — $1.75 for a 10-ounce to-go cup or house mug, $2 for a 16-ounce cup or $2.50 $3.20 for "Tea for Two," served in a 24-ounce teapot.
 
For food, a variety of baked goods, fudge, Sunshine Bagels, salads and sandwiches are available. Specialty sandwiches range in price from about $3.50 to $7.75.
 
Morin said he hopes to have a liquor license in the spring, once all the needed paperwork and application process is completed.
 
The Parlor Cafe will offer late-night entertainment. Friday will be open mic night and Morin plans to host more structured shows on Saturday. Morin is also open to having smaller, local private functions at the shop on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
 
Morin and Osimo are welcoming more ideas; at the bar, a chalkboard is displayed with the message "Tell us what you'd like so we can be your cafe!" 
 
The Parlor Cafe, located on 303 Ashland St., is open Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more info, check out The Parlor Café Facebook page or website. The drink and food menus can be found here and here, respectively.
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Burger Kings Closed in Pittsfield, Lenox

By Joe Durwin
Pittsfield Correspondent

The signs at the Burger King on First Street assure patrons the closure is temporary.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local Burger King franchise closed the doors on three of its eateries Thursday morning.

Signs at the drive-up window at the First Street location say "Closed temporarily, sorry for the inconvenience." The Burger King on Merrill Road is also closed with the same signage; someone who answered at the Burger King in Lenox said that eatery closed Wednesday night, but the closure is only temporarily.

When contacted about the closures, franchise owner Richard George of Pittsfield replied, "I'm not at liberty to say right now."

According to Manta, the private company has annual revenue of $1 million to $2.5 million and employs a staff of 20 to 49. It was established in 1984 in Pittsfield.



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Cariddi Hosting Meetings With Small-Business Owners

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — State Rep. Gailanne M. Cariddi will host meetings on Monday, May 21, in North Adams, Adams and Williamstown for local small-business owners.

Local business owners from towns in the representatives district are invited to come and talk about their businesses and operations and any concerns or any points for discussion they may have.

Monday, May 21, though Friday, May 25, is National Small Business Week, initiated by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 as an annual celebration to recognize the important contributions of entrepreneurs and small businesses to our economy.

Cariddi will be at the Williamstown Town Hall from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m., at North Adams City Hall from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Room 201, and Adams Town Hall from 2 to 3 in the Mahogany Rooom.

Cariddi encourages business owners and affiliates in all neighboring towns to meet with her.
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Habitat for Humanity ReStore Celebrates Birthday

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity will celebrate the second birthday of its ReStore home improvement center on Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Located at 70 Jefferson Place in Pittsfield, ReStore sells new and gently used home improvement materials and appliances at discount prices. The revenue is used to help fund Habitat for Humanity building projects.
 
Since its grand opening, ReStore has recycled approximately 160,000 tons of home improvement supplies which would have otherwise gone into landfills, and generated more than $200,000 for local building projects.
 
“ReStore is a valuable asset for our community,” said ReStore Manager Anne Christopolis. “Aside from the environmental benefits of this type of operation, it also helps improve the housing in our area by helping fund Habitat homes, and by providing an affordable way for people to do home improvements, even in a very tight economy.”
 
ReStore merchandise varies depending on donations, but generally includes items such as furniture, lumber, interior and exterior doors, cabinets, toilets and sinks, light fixtures, painting supplies, power tools and hardware. The store is open on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., for donations only, and for purchases and donations on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
 
For more information on ReStore or their 2nd Birthday Celebration, contact ReStore Manager Anne Christopolis at (413) 446-4158, annechristopolis@hotmail.com, or go to www.berkshirerestore.org.
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WMECo Survey Finds Low Cost, Skilled Labor Here

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Western Massachusetts Electric Co. has released its annual economic review of the four westernmost counties.

"Pioneering Futures: Western Massachustts Economic Review 2012" looks at the demographics, work force, education, lifestyles and industries of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire counties.

"Western Massachusetts offers a prosperous future for businesses looking to move to the region," said Peter J. Clarke, president and chief operating officer of WMECo. "WMECo proudly produces this publication in order to expose the many appealing attributes of this unique location."

The report compares the region to other areas of New England and the nation. Some of its findings are not surprising, such as lower housing and costs of living, the high number of educational and cultural institutions and the proximity of urban centers and rail and air transport. The cost of living is near the national average but housing costs are 6 percent below. The per capita income is $37,888.

Among the reports findings:

* A third of the population 25 and older holds at least bachelor's degree
* Less than 10 percent of total resident employement is in manufacturing
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of colleges and universities
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of health-care related employment

Find the entire report online here or request printed copies by calling 413-787-9333.
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