Claire Klammer takes on order on Friday. The cafe is currently cash only.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The mini-Main Street that is the Norad Mill now has its own cafe.
The Norad Cafe joins dozens of businesses already in the former Exelcior Mill and has been on the priority list for mill developer David Moresi since taking possession of the structure.
"It's just a place where you can just get a big old stuffed sandwich," Moresi said. "I mean, there's nowhere around here like this to get a deli sandwich. There really isn't. I've talking about this for 15-plus years."
The North Adams native has been interested in resurrecting some of the sentimental favorites of years past — including a candy store that could be open as early as Halloween.
"Really the goal is to have a little fun and, and bring back some things," he said.
One of those things is a deli with overstuffed sandwiches and Boar's Head sliced meats and cheeses to go. Sandwiches are $6-$7 or so with a bag of chips and a pickle; a build-your-own grilled cheese is $5. Sliced meats are varied prices.
"There are fresh baked muffins and stuff from Tunnel City," Moresi said. "So that's us working with the tenants — and the coffee's from Tunnel City."
Tunnel City's coffee roasting operation is located in the mill. The cafe also has drinks and snacks and set of vending machines outside when its closed. It is open in the morning and closes at 2 p.m.
Moresi said anticipates adding more offerings like salads, soup and pizza and possibly adding more staff once the schedule becomes more regular.
The cafe offers a needed service as the mill on Roberts Drive has filled up far faster than expected with a mix of manufacturing, professional offices, and retail. Its location on the first floor makes it easy to grab lunch for tenants and customers, and it was busy on Friday, the second day it was open.
Gretchen Thomas and Claire Klammer are operating the deli and said it was very busy the first couple days around lunchtime.
"He was impressed on the first day on how we handled things. It was a little bit chaotic," Thomas said. "And people might have to wait a little bit for their stuff. But so far, so good. Everybody's been patient and we've gotten very good reviews. That's important.
"Nobody has been unhappy. We're planning on keeping it that way."
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Belltower Records Doors May Be Shut But The Music Is Still On
Staff ReportsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Belltower Records is keeping the record store experience alive despite the sudden closure because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"People love to connect over records and their love of music. Music can ease a lot of anxiety or discomfort over day-to-day life and in that way it serves an emotional purpose," owners Andrea Belair and Wes Nelson said in a joint email. "With this sudden retreat into isolation, we think it's important to not overlook how this will affect people emotionally. ‘Music is the healing force of the universe.’ "
The record store closed in the Norad Mill on March 16 as concerns over the novel coronavirus continued to ramp up.
"We decided to close out of concern for public health surrounding the COVID-19 crisis since we did not want to contribute to the spread of the virus through exposing customers through contact with it," they wrote.
Belair and Nelson have always sold music online but saw an opportunity to expand while the brick and mortar operation is closed.. They have increased their offerings on both Discogs and Etsy, where they sell music posters.
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