PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There is no longer a need to drive down to the City of Brotherly Love to get Geno's or Pat's or Tony Luke's cheesesteaks. Authentic Philly cheesesteaks are now available right on North Street.
Xavier Jones opened Bigg Daddy's Philly Steak House in Crawford Square on Friday. It is his second location since starting what he envisions will be a local franchise.
"I wanted to do something different. You've got pizza, Chinese, so my thing was let's do something I know that I'm really good at. People always have to travel to Philly to get a good cheesesteak. Now the people up here they can get the same cheesesteak they'd get down there right here," Jones said.
While steaks are in the name, Jones said the restaurant offers a whole lot more than that. And, with the new location, the menu has expanded to include offerings for vegans, gluten-free, and healthy eating options.
"We're more than a cheesesteak place though," Jones said. "We have burgers. We have chicken. We have 12 different flavors of wings. We have 17 different cheesesteaks, four different chicken cheesesteaks."
Jones began with a restaurant in Adams. He said the response had been great and showed him that his idea was worth it. About three months ago, Jones was put in touch with landlord Steve Oakes about the availability of the former Red Apple Butcher's location. Jones said he looked at it and within a week signed a lease.
"I wanted to find a place that was around a bunch of other restaurants. When you have a district, a place people go, a destination area, you do a whole lot better than being isolated. I always wanted to be here on North Street. The first restaurant that I worked in Pittsfield was here, Spice in 2006," Jones said.
Jones has a lengthy history in the culinary industry. The Philadelphia native was trained at Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts and after graduation came to the Berkshires to work at the Red Lion Inn. He then went back to Philadelphia in 2004 to work as a corporate trainer for Longhorn Steakhouse.
"I started liking opening restaurants. I used to be a corporate trainer in Philadelphia for Longhorn Steakhouse. I would travel the country opening restaurants for them. It was sort of a niche that I had that was fun," Jones said.
In 2006, he received a call asking him to return to the Berkshires. This time Jones moved here to open Spice on North Street. Since then he has gone through a series of opening restaurants. Eventually, he crafted his own and opened the first Bigg Daddy's location.
"I'm trying to franchise out. I don't want to close a location. I'm looking to open this up and then open something else up," Jones said.
The Pittsfield location is open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. for pick up, eat in, and delivery. But Jones said as long as the orders keep coming, he'll stay open. Bigg Daddy's delivers to Lanesborough, Pittsfield, and Dalton.
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Pittsfield Residents Fight Cell Tower Construction
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents hope Berkshire Superior Court rules on an injunction forcing Verizon to halt the construction on 150-foot cell tower on South Street.
Residents of Alma Street will have their date in court on Tuesday, claiming Verizon did not properly notify abutters before constructing a cell tower.
"I pray that the honorable judge not only rules in favor of our neighborhood, but at the same time also grants the injunction to stop work, preventing further damage, stress, and concerns associated with the tower being up and active," resident Courtney Gilardi said. "I would hope she would stop this tower from being placed in our neighborhood."
Verizon received the permitting from the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2017 to erect the 115-foot cellular tower. Work began in this spring.
The School Committee on Thursday voted to appoint Deputy Superintendent Joseph Curtis as interim superintendent and to hold outgoing Superintendent Jason McCandless to his 90-day notice. click for more
School officials gathered to mark the milestone with the sounds of construction and sparks from welding giving proof that their vision was being made reality after a long and arduous process.
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