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Petrino's Open and Humming

Staff Reports

We are served at Petrino's Cafe on Main Street in North Adams on Friday while Mark Petrino takes an order. Everybody wears a shirt with the cafe's basil leaf logo.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Petrino's Cafe has been operating for a week now and owner Mark Petrino says things have been going well.

We finally got a chance to try it today and really liked the new decor and interior setup. Mark made good on his promise to move the deli case so that it's immediately visible when you walk in the door. It's also easier to get to the counter because the tables have been rearranged in a much better pattern.

The Cup & Saucer was like walking into a classroom —  all the tables lined up like a regiment, making things a little too cozy if you wanted a private conversation. If you were waiting for takeout,  you were always standing next to someone's table.

The new layout gets you out of people's way while you're waiting; plus, you can see the (cold) sandwiches right in the deli case. The interior's a lot brighter and the couch in the front has been moved to the back. Tables have replaced it in the window, which makes a lot more sense from a business standpoint. Why would you want potential customers to see people lounging with coffee when the money's in the food?

The tables and chairs are nicer, too. No more old schoolroom furniture.

We talked to couple regulars of the old cafe who were trying the new cafe for the first time. Their impressions were very positive, although Joe Manning says ditch the big TVs. Not good for conversation, he says, plus it feels like you're staring at the diners below — or being stared at if it's your table that's below.

We tried the Cousin Mary, a chicken breast with spinach, provolone and avocado in a whole-wheat wrap with a hint of chipotle sauce. Pretty good but for healthy eating, we'd like something other than chips on the side.

The cafe's offering a variety of wraps and sandwiches with fresh meats and vegetarian choices, burgers, steaks and salads. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m. with burritos, omelets and specials. On our list to try is the banana-stuffed ciabatta French toast with a meat side.

We've also been told the hours may change from 6 to 2 to 7 to 3 because more people are coming in later than earlier. The Web site's up, too, and actually posts soup and salad specials for the day. Yay for keeping the page current.

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Tags: Petrino's, North Adams      

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