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Saurin Shah updated the board on the progress of both locations on Monday.

Two Pittsfield Convenience Stores Eyed to Re-open; Lach's Get New Manager

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The owner of the former Dalton Ave. Variety is now looking to re-open on South Street.
Saurin Shah told the Licensing Board on Monday that he hopes to re-open his business in the former BP station across from Haddad on South Street in the coming months. He said he will be leasing the store space and another entity is looking to rebuild the gas station.
"I found a location and I'm working on transferring my license," Shah said. "I do have a spot inside the store that I will be operating."
Shah says he hopes to open in February and he expects to ask for his licenses lined up for renewals in March. Dalton Ave Variety has been operating with a seasonal license, which Shah let expire because the store closed. In March, he will apply to renew the license and transfer it to South Street.
The Shah family had two stores closed within months of each other. Shah previously said the lease expired and was not renewed at the Dalton Avenue store and the city shut down a convenience store on Elm Street, which is owned by Shah's father Piyush Shah. 
Saurin reported that Elm Street Convenience is still closed but the family is currently working with engineers on plans to rebuild a collapsed ceiling — which led to the closure of the store. 
"I hope it will be as soon as possible. I'm working with the engineers hoping they will get me some kind of plans and things like that. I personally plan to be up and running by the end of January, or at least in some type of construction phase," Shah said.
In other business, the Licensing Board approved Ishmael Lytle as the new manager of Lach's Lounge. Owner Michael Kruger said his former manager, Arthur Beattie, has been ill and Lytle has been serving as an interim manager for several months. Lytle is now taking over as the manager, after two years of working at the bar. 
The Licensing Board has had recent issues with security at the Fenn Street establishment and Lytle told the commissioners that he has tightened security since taking over — with some help from the Police Department which made it routine to park a cruiser in the parking lot on Saturday nights.
At the next meeting, the Licensing Board will be fielding complaints regarding management at Nichol's Package Store and Tito's Mexican Grill. Police Lt. Michael Grady reported to the board that the manager at Nichol's isn't the name of the manager on the license and the person's whose name is on the license hasn't been on-premise. 
At Tito's, the similar concern for management presence. Grady said there was an issue of overservice at the Depot Street restaurant and the manager has apparently been working from out-of-state via video cameras. 
The Licensing Board has routinely pushed for managers to spend as much time on their properties as possible — and with Tito's, even delayed issuing an approval on the liquor license manager because he was from out of town with no intention to move closer. Eventually, the Licensing Board approved the manager after being told he would be moving to the area to be physically closer to the restaurant.

Tags: alcohol license,   business manager,   convenience store,   license board,   

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Soldiers' Home Superintendent Removed as Contagion Spreads

HOLYOKE, Mass. — The superintendent of the Soldiers' Home has been suspended effective immediately.
In a brief statement late Monday, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Dan Tsai said Bennett Walsh was being put on administrative leave. 
"It is imperative that the Holyoke Soldiers' Home provide a safe environment for the veteran residents, and the dedicated staff who serve them," he wrote. 
A veteran at the 300-bed Soldiers' Home tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week ago. Western Mass News on Sunday reported that the contagion had since spread to both patients and employees and that the state's Emergency Management Agency had set up tents on Friday to screen all employees entering the facility.
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