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Dave Atwell owned Desperados for 19 years before trying a new venture with his package store.

Restaurateur Switches Up Career With Dave's Package Store

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Dave's Package Store was freshened with new paint and siding, the addition of craft beers and wines, and a popular drive-up window. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Dave Atwell is celebrating a successful year in his new business venture.
 
The longtime owner of Desperados decided he wanted to get out of the restaurant business and after selling his business over a year ago came upon another opportunity.   
 
"Nineteen years of being in the restaurant business and I was looking for something different," Atwell said. "I’ve always liked this location. It has always been a liquor store and I thought I could clean it up and make it successful."
 
Atwell spruced up the package store that had been located on the corner of River and Eagle street since 1959. It was for decades known as Lopardo's but also had a short life as River Street Package Store before Atwell purchased it and opened in late February 2018.
 
"New everything," he said. "New roof, I painted the outside, new carpeting, and new coolers."
 
Atwell said he made it a point to carry more craft beers and unique products.
 
"We carry a much bigger selection of craft beers and wines than the last owner," he said. "Craft beer is really growing … people ask about specific beers so I actually brought on a third vendor to get some stuff I couldn’t get before."
 
Dave's Package Store also has a drive-through window that he said has been a huge hit. 
 
"It is super popular and a lot of people just get a kick out of just the novelty of using it," he said. "People pull up and can get scratch tickets, a quick six-pack, or a pack of cigarettes without having to get out of their car."
 
Dave’s Package store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m .to 11 p.m. and Sundays 10 to 9. 
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Mohawk Trail Woodlands, Forest Service Team Up on Conservation

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

BRPC's Tom Matuszko asks advisory board members to raise their hands as FRCOG's Executive Director Linda Dunlavy waits to speak.
CHARLEMONT, Mass. — A shared stewardship agreement signed Thursday will bring U.S. Forest Service expertise to the state while keeping hundreds of thousands of acres of forestland in state and private hands. 
 
The Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership encompasses 361,941 acres of state and private land across 21 communities in the northwestern corner of the state. About 28 percent of that land is permanently protected. The partnership will enhance conservation and forest research and provide technical support for businesses that depend on the region's natural resources such as tourism and forestry products.
 
"I am from this region, it is a part of the state that is near and dear to my heart," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides at signing held at Berkshire East Mountain Resort. "Something that is a priority to the governor is making sure that this region can continue to have economic security and opportunity for people, but also that connectedness to the landscape and that rootedness in the special places that make up Western Massachusetts."
 
Theoharides said the state is losing about 65 acres of forestland a day to development — housing, parking lots, and commercial establishments — and it's not coming back.  
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