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 School Committee Updated on Beginning of School Year
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Pittsfield Public Schools has started the new school year with more than 5,000 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through Grade 12.
School administrators provided an update the beginning of the year at Wednesday's School Committee meeting.
"I would like to welcome everybody back and it is hard to believe we are at the start of another school years but here we are," Chairwoman Katherine Yon said at the meeting broadcast on Pittsfield Community Television.
Superintendent Jason McCandless thanked the many people who helped prepare the schools for incoming students as well as community members who help make the Pittsfield Public Schools home.
There are 520 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students in the district. On the other side of the spectrum, there are 1,632 high school students and 400 career and technical education students.
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Mayor Linda Tyer named Sammons chief last week and he was sworn in to take immediate command of the Fire Department. Tuesday's broadcast event was largely to celebrate his promotion and introduce him to the council and the city.
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District Attorney Andrea Harrington made the announcement on Tuesday morning in front of the Boys and Girls' Club and backed by the county's two mayors, state officials, members of her office and school and law enforcement leaders.
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Although the mosquito numbers were low, this was not the case in youth e-cigarette use and Armstrong said according to a recent Central Berkshire Prevention Needs survey use is on the rise.
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