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Chick's Bar & Grill at 128 Columbia St. in Adams has new owners and expects to reopen by late September.

New Owners of Chick's in Adams Plan Reopening

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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The Selectment's License Subcommittee goes over applications with Administrative Assistant Deborah Dunlap. 
ADAMS, Mass. — Chicks Bar and Grill has been sold and the new owners have requested an alcohol license transfer.
The Selectmen's License Subcommittee reviewed an all-alcohol license transfer for the bar on Wednesday that would allow the new owners of 128 Colombia St. to re-establish the pub.
"They have purchased it and now they are looking for their license to operate," subcommittee member Christine Hoyt said. "There are a few more steps they need to go through." 
Former owner Dennis Knapp, operating as Densue Inc., had the bar on the market for some time after running it for nearly 20 years. The tavern has operated since at least the 1930s first as Chick's Cafe and later Chick's Lunch.
Hoyt said the new owners, Pine Brook Pub LLC with principals Trent A. Shafer, Tammie L. Shafer and Mitchell L. Despain, have already begun to work in the interior of the building.
"I think they are doing some upgrades," she said. 
Hoyt said the new owners are still waiting on an updated certificate of occupancy that they need on hand for a successful license transfer. 
Administrative Assistant Deborah Dunlap said the transfer process will take some time through the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. She said they possibly would be looking at a late September opening. 
Hoyt said she understood that they can still operate the restaurant portion of the business.
"They are going to offer lunch in the interim and just maintain the restaurant until that alcohol license is squared away," she said.
The transfer must be approved by the full select board, which acts as the licensing authority.
In other business, the subcommittee also reviewed the all-alcohol package store license transfer for O'Geary's Package Store on 60 Commercial St., which is looking to sell.
"Lots of change," Hoyt said.
Chehar Corp look to take over the business but will operate under the O'Geary's name.
James Geary opened the store in the early 2000s and has operated the establishment since, said Dunlap. 
Over the years, O'Geary's owner has come before various boards and commissions looking to expand the footprint.
Most recently, according to Dunlap, the owners began the process of opening a marijuana retail operation, however, this never panned out.
Chehar Corp.'s principles are from Cheshire and Chicopee, with Ankit Patel listed as president and resident agent. One of the Chicopee principles was also listed as the manager, which caused subcommittee member Richard Blanchard pause. Blanchard noted there is a minimum amount of time a manager needs to be at an establishment, which may be difficult with the Chicopee commute.
This transfer will also have to go before the full board.
Before adjourning, the subcommittee discussed pocket licenses and how long they should let closed establishments hold on to an inactive license.
Business owners, whose businesses are closed, prefer to have an alcohol license in hand, especially when they are trying to sell their operations.
Dunlap said the ABCC recommends that pocket licenses be allowed for no more than six months. If there are no open sales or plans to reactivate the license, the commission should step in.
"Six months is the acceptable window by the ABCC then they start getting a little cranky about it," Dunlap said.
She said there are circumstances where the commission can allow an extension in good faith that the owner is working toward reopening or a sale. However, this has to be communicated to the commission.
"They tend to be a little more lenient with that because they are making an effort," she said. 
She noted that it is also a better business practice to not have these pocket licenses in limbo. She said it could tie up licenses and deter possible businesses that want to be open
"We want to make sure that licenses are open for business that want to be open," Dunlap said. "It is not good for the town."
It was noted that the owners of the closed Adams Ale House still have their pocket license. The owners have come before the board indicating that they are aggressively looking to sell but the tavern has been closed for well over six months. 
The two selectmen who make up the subcommittee asked Dunlap to draft a letter requesting that the owners attend an upcoming meeting to explain their plans.

Tags: license board,   alcohol license,   

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Adams, Economic Officials Explain 40R Housing Bylaw

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

A petition is asking officials to slow down approval of the zoning amendment until it can be reviewed more fully.
ADAMS, Mass. — Residents remain wary of a proposal to adopt the state's 40R legislation that would provide incentives for reusing old buildings for both the town and developers.
But Tuesday's more than two-hour meeting explaining step by step the statute, the definitions, and how a Smart Growth Overlay District would work seemed to temper some of the controversy. 
"None of us will leave until we have every question at least answered," said Town Administrator Jay Green to the well-attended gathering at the Visitors Center. "You may not like the answer. You may not agree with it, but we're going to answer the question for you."
The town's consideration of the 15-year-old Chapter 40R caused an uproar over the past couple months as many residents believed it referred to public or low-income housing. A number of posts on Facebook detailed problems with area public housing developments that are not 40R and expressed worry that the town would become a magnet for low-income housing. 
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