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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Earlier this spring, I announced I was running for City Council while still a senior in college. Within just a few days of taking out my papers, I had surpassed the number of signatures needed to appear on the ballot. I want to thank everyone who lent me their signature, their support, or even just an encouraging word along the way.
Late last week, however, I wrote to the City Clerk and asked her to withdraw my name from the election. I accepted an offer to work for the New Hampshire State Senate that will, obviously, take me out of the city for the foreseeable future. This was an offer that I, a 22-year-old recent college graduate from the college known as New Hampshire's home for politics, could not turn down at this point in my young career. I am very thankful to everyone who supported my campaign along the way. I especially want to thank state Rep. John Barrett III, City Council President Keith Bona, and City Councilor Marie T. Harpin, who all gave me valuable insights and guided me along the way.
I hope to return to the city one day and give back to the great community that shaped me into who I am today and who inspired me to launch my campaign. I would not have withdrawn from the campaign if I did not think that the city would be in good hands while I am away. No matter where I live, I will always consider North Adams home.
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