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The Board of Health meets last week at Town Hall

Rascal's Picked For Cigar Lounge And Humidor

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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John Sheerin explains his plans for a cigar lounge to the Board of Health.
ADAMS, Mass. — The former Rascal’s Lounge is being eyed for a cigar lounge and humidor. 
 
John Sheerin introduced himself to the Board of Health last week to present his plans for the North Summer Street building that he hopes will be a destination for cigar enthusiasts.
 
"For hundreds of years, local cigar lounges have served as a meeting place and common ground for both white-collar and blue-collar people to come together and spend a few hours together engaging in conversations and taking part in the time-honored tradition of smoking a fine cigar," Sheerin said told the board on Wednesday. 
 
Sheerin said cigar smokers are often banished to basements or back porches and there are no local establishments where enthusiasts can enjoy their hobby. 
 
"Unfortunately if I want to partake in my hobby, I have to go as far as Albany or Hudson and there are few places locally where you can purchase cigars but they are not really cigar shops," he said. 
 
Sheerin said the lounge would only allow access to those age 21 and older. He said they will not serve alcohol.
 
The board asked Sheerin if people would be able to smoke marijuana in the lounge and Sheerin responded no. He said the lounge is purely for cigar and pipe smokers. He said it is a place for premium tobacco and not even cigarettes will be allowed.
 
He plans to install plenty of ventilation in the lounge and have a clear separation between the shop and the lounge so those who may want to purchase a cigar do not have to walk through a smoke-filled room.
 
Sheerin said he plans to stock newspapers from around the country as well as televise various sporting events in the lounge.
 
"Cigars and boxing actually go together quite well," he said.
 
Sheerin said there are many enthusiasts and if there is a cigar lounge in Adams, people will come and hopefully spend money in town. 
 
"The camaraderie among cigar smokers is something that I can comfortably refer to as a sacred thing. Many of us travel great distances ... just to spend time with other enthusiasts," he said. "I'm not only looking to serve the needs of the cigar-smoking population of Adams but also establish a destination for enthusiasts from outside of our community." 
 
The Board of Health was Sheerin’s first stop and being so early in the process, board members had few comments but said they will help guide him through various town protocols. 
 
"We will look at the concept and see what else we need to know, what we need to know more of, and see what other agencies within the town government may need to be included," Board member Bruce Shepley said. "We will get back to you."
 
In other business, Building Inspector Gerald Garner informed the board that he plans to increase the standards for securing condemned buildings to arson standards.
 
"People can still get in there because all they are doing is putting plywood in the windows and doors," he said. "They can just pull back and get in and they have a place to stay for the night."
 
He said arson standards would mandate the used of 16-inch bolts, two-by-fours, and plywood that would shore up structures the town wants secured.

Tags: smoking-related items,   

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Adams Selectmen Hear From Ale House Owner

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Nate Girard explains his predicament to the Selectmen on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nate Girard and his longtime friend Erik Pizani decided to buy the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Hall in 2012. The property had a rich history in town and most people had memories of bowling, playing pitch, attending a wedding, or just sitting at an old red leather stool and enjoying a cheap beer.
 
The two partners, along with another investor, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing the structure up to code and restoring the bar and kitchen. The Adams Ale House was born. Both of them ran the restaurant, bought houses, had kids, went into real estate together, and celebrated the boom and even the bust times. 
 
Pizani eventually left the restaurant business and left Girard as the sole owner of the building. Girard decided to lease the restaurant space to focus solely on real estate and his young family. The new operators didn't last long in a tough restaurant market and went out of business in December 2018.
 
The building on East Hoosac Street has sat unused since then. Girard has it listed it on several sources and is still hopeful he can find a taker. The idle liquor license he still holds, however, has become an issue for the town.
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