Rumors Brewing About Cup & Saucer

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The Cup & Saucer on Main Street was unexpectedly closed on Sunday morning. The sign showed up later.
Update: According to the North Adams Transcript on Tuesday, Jan. 5, the coffee shop is closed for good. The paper reports that Lester dropped off his keys to landlord Scarafoni Realty last week. Calls and e-mails left for Lester have gone unanswered.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Has the Cup & Saucer poured its last latte? That's what its loyal patrons are wondering.

The now iconic coffeehouse at 67 Main St. owned by Daniel Lester closed abruptly over the weekend, leaving a state senator and local coffee lovers out in the cold.

Scott Brown, a Wrentham Republican, was scheduled to make an appearance Sunday morning at the restaurant, despite it being covered with placards touting his Democratic rival for U.S. Senate, native daughter Martha Coakley.

But Brown was a no-show and the Cup & Saucer was closed. A number of patrons tried to scurry in out of the drizzly rain only to find their way blocked by the locked door and loyal customers made their way to the Hub and BrewHaHa for their morning joe.

A family situation or emergency was the word being passed around Sunday morning, but four mornings have gone by with no sign of the Cup & Saucer reopening with the exception of a simple sign on the door: "The cup will be closed temporarily."

Messages left for Lester have not yet been returned and no notices are posted on the restaurant's Web site or Facebook and MySpace pages.

David Carver of Scarafoni Associates, which owns the coffee shop building at the corner of Main and Holden, said he didn't know why the Cup was closed but he had been "working" with Lester.

"If he opens back up again that's wonderful," said Carver, adding it was a good location that's had more than one successful business. "We expect it to continue to be a wonderful place for a coffee shop ... It will all work out."

The spot had previously housed the Appalachian Bean for eight years until then owner Audrey Witter changed careers and went into teaching. Lester opened the business in 2006 with a partner, Mark Florcyczk, who left a year later. Florcyczk is now an owner of the Verizon Wireless store on Main Street.

Lester recently paid off a state meals tax lien of $12,132 incurred in 2006, according to state land records.

Over the past year, the restaurant became a central meeting point in the city election and was covered with candidate's signs. Lester was big supporter of Mayor-elect Richard Alcombright, whose green T-shirted campaign volunteers frequented the shop. Coakley's only stop in North Adams so far during the special election for Senate was the Cup & Saucer.

If anyone has more information on the Cup's fate or a better way to contact Lester, post your comments here or e-mail us at info@iberkshires.com.
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North Adams Library Trustees to Look at New Policies

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The library trustees will update some policies to address filming patrons in the library and political events in the meeting room.
 
The trustees addressed an American Library Association memo in response to filming in the library and agreed to hold off on penning a policy until next month.
 
"Let's think about it and look at this next month," trustee Don Pecor said at last Wednesday's meeting. "It sounds like we are a little split on this." 
 
The memo was in response to a group of First Amendment advocates across the country who enter public buildings with cameras. When given a building policy mandating that they not film in the building, they hand over a copy of the Constitution and continue.
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