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Jazu Stine and Luke Marion pose by a sign promising 'III,' the third version of Red Apple Butchers in Crawford Square.

Red Apple Butchers Taking Second Slice at North Street

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Red Apple Butchers is hoping absence has made the heart grow fonder for its prime cuts and specialty sandwiches.
Nearly 18 months after it shuttering his location in the rear of Crawford Square, Jazu Stine expects to open on Tuesday in the very same spot to serve breakfast sandwiches and lunch, and fresh meats. 
But this time he won't be alone — the butcher shop is being supported by a team that includes Otto's Luke Marion. Call it "collaborative capitalism."
"We're working in tandem to create kind of a few different ideas. And then we also got Berkshire Organics involved," Stine said on Friday, as Marion chopped potatoes. "To be fair, he did warn me this was going to happen a long time ago, but I didn't really believe him."
Stine's model was farm-to-table: good quality, locally sourced meats along with a deli, packed lunches and baked goods made on site, and produce and dairy. It began as a nose-to-tail butcher shop in 2013 out on Dalton Division Road and Stine later started to build a base of restaurants ordering meat for dishes as well. With the new location, he added the prepared foods and other take-home items.
He was ready to take a big step in fall 2017 with help from the U.S. Small Business Administration and support from city officials to open on North Street. But four months later, his customer base had disintegrated. 
"I don't think people were ready to really go out of their way to go to the butcher shop, you know, I think we've kind of lost touch with that people do," Stine said. "So what I heard people saying was, 'we like your stuff, we'd love you to be back. But this doesn't work for us.'"
But, one thing he heard over and over was that people were still interested in delivery, which had been a large part of his business. 
So a third part of the team will be Berkshire Organics, which Red Apple Butchers had opened next to in the beginning. Stine said the produce supplier's new focus on delivery systems rather than brick and mortar can work for both operations, including aiding Berkshire Organics in developing ready-to-prepare meals. 
It was Marion who was sure that Red Apple Butcher would return. 
"My first and foremost, like, my main goal in this, I want to get Red Apple back up and running," he said. "Because it's a great spot, and Jazu has a great family, great people. And that's what you do."
The location had been occupied by Bigg Daddy's Philly Steak House for the past year, but owner Xavier Jones closed in late August, stating a lack of customers. 
Landlord Steve Oakes, who bought the building in 2015, approached Marion to see if he was interested in doing something in there. He'd been waiting for the spot to open and noted that all the RAB equipment was stored in the basement of the building — it just had to be moved upstairs. 
"I approached [Stine], I said, I have this concept for lunch, the menu," he said. "It would be kind of a backbone for the operation, but it turns out it's not a backbone, it's more of a real thing."
Stine, who had been gone back to work in local restaurants, was willing to try. 
"I think we're in an amazing place to have a landlord who's got our back and says, 'You know what, go ahead, try again.' I believe in this. That's, that's pretty amazing thing," he said. 
So what is the connection between Otto's and Red Apple Butchers? The two men laughed that they didn't see a bitter fight over breakfast sandwiches across Park Square. Rather, the two friends — three dads total, they said, with Berkshire Organics — see complementary businesses that can support each other. 
"We have a half-pound burger at Otto's. ... We have ridiculous burgers," Marion said. "Here, it's a quarter pound burger. It's grass fed beef. So it's immediately going to taste different than an Otto's burger."
Stine and Marion said their eateries will be offering "completely different experiences" in sandwich ingredients and how they're prepared. Plus, said Stine, he'll be open Monday through Friday so Otto's is "still going to crush breakfast all weekend long."
"It's not really just even two businesses, now there are three that are kind of all working together to support a common goal," Marion said. 
Stine agreed it's a bit complicated to explain to people how the three businesses aren't just looking at the bottom line but at how they can be stronger together.
"I think when people start to hear about this and realize, like, wait a minute, this isn't just the same thing," he said. "And there's now a story behind it. And I think people are going to struggle to just understand that it's pretty simple."
Red Apple Butchers is located at 137 North St.; hours are 7 to 5, Monday through Friday. See the menu here. 

Tags: deli,   North Street,   reopening,   restaurants,   

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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Dc. 6-12

Enjoy sixteen different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen accomplished regional artists in Pittsfield's bustling Upstreet Cultural District during the on First Friday Artswalk and all month long! In most venues, artists will be present from 5-8 p.m. A free guided tour begins at 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Center @ BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.

The Office of Cultural Development will host its 5th annual Wreath Art Auction at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts during the First Friday festivities. Almost 50 hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind wreaths, kissing balls and table pieces will be available for purchase and auction following the lighting of the tree in Park Square. Enjoy music and refreshments at a preview reception starting at 5 p.m., followed by a live auction at 6:30 p.m. Grab-and-go options will be available. All funds raised at this event go to the South Congregational Church Food Pantry. Admission at the door is $10, or purchase tickets in advance at the Lichtenstein Center or by emailing 

These events coincide with Downtown Pittsfield's 2nd annual Festive Frolic
, running on Friday from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Events include a North Pole Pub Crawl, snowman story time, ornament making, glow-in-the-dark Jingle Bell Rock, a craft fair, carolers, holiday lights, shopping opportunities and more!


Mr. Finn's Cabaret at Barrington Stage Company presents local singer-songwriters Billy Keane and Matt Cusson, who will join forces to kick off the season right, with holiday songs and lots of fun. 7 p.m. $20-$25. 
FRI North Pole Pub Crawl in Downtown Pittsfield FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow FRI Yule Jam at Hancock Shaker Village | FRI Grahm Sturz at Hotel on North | FRI JB's Acoustic Gravel at PortSmitt's | FRI Patient Zero Records Show at Crossroads | FRI Legacy at The A | SAT Dust Bowl Faeries at The Whitney | SAT Holidays Around the World Dinner at Hancock Shaker Village | SAT Mike McMann at Proprietor's Lodge | SUN Service of Lessons & Carols at Hancock Shaker Village | MON Cabaret Workshop Performance at Berkshire Music School | MON Jazz Night at Mission | TUE Vinyl Soul Night at Thistle & Mirth | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU Holiday Lights at Arrowhead | THU Marc Black's History of the '50s & '60s at Berkshire Athenaeum | THU The Picky B's at Mission


SAT Visit with Santa at The Beacon Cinema
Visit with Santa at the Beacon Cinema as part of the Downtown Pittsfield Festive Frolic! This is a family event where children can have their photo taken with Santa by a professional photographer! In exchange, please donate a brand-new, unwrapped item to the Berkshire Community Action Council's Warm Clothing Program. See website for list of needed itemsIf you are unable to bring an item, a donation of $5 will be accepted by BCAC volunteers. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
FRI WeeMuse Adventures at Berkshire Athenaeum FRI Screening of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at Berkshire Museum FRI-THU Parenting Classes & Play Groups at 18 Degrees SAT Festive Frolic Story Time at Berkshire Athenaeum SAT WeeMuse Art Lab at Berkshire Museum SAT FREE Kids' Crafts at Peace Train Tees SAT Chow Time at Berkshire Museum | SAT Make Holiday Ornaments at Berkshire Paint & Sip SAT We Can Be Heroes at Berkshire Museum SAT-SUN Brunch with Santa at Hancock Shaker Village SAT-SUN Albany Berkshire Ballet's The Nutcracker at Barrington Stage SUN Discovery Tank Program at Berkshire Museum SUN Billy Budd in the Breadbox Audio Book Launch at Arrowhead | SUN Gingerbread House Decorating Party at Dottie's MON Tiny Tots Story Time at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Dungeons & Dragons at Berkshire Athenaeum TUE WeeMuse Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum TUE Graphic Novel Book Club at Berkshire Athenaeum WED WeeMuse Parent/Child STEM at Berkshire Museum THU Preschool Play & Learn at Berkshire Athenaeum THU Lego Club at Berkshire Athenaeum


SUN Restorative Yoga w/CBD Salve at BYDF
Join Amanda Marsh for a Restorative Yoga with CBD class at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness. You will be guided into a deeply relaxing restorative yoga flow, blending supported yoga postures, breathing techniques, and cannabis-infused salve to encourage letting go fully into each yoga posture. 5:30-7 p.m. $25 for the class and $65 for the class and salve. 
FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Running Center | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Family YMCA | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness FRI-THU Various Classes at Radiance Yoga | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Salsa FRI-THU Various Classes at Pilates Fit SUN Restorative Yoga w/Massage at Radiance Yoga | MON Common Yoga at Zion Lutheran Church | MON Let's Keep It Moving at Knesset Israel


SAT+ A Christmas Carol at The Colonial Theatre
Revel in the joy and redemptive power of A Christmas Carol, the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, an infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits. Journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season. $29/$39. A sensory-friendly performance will be held held on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
FRI-SUN Gingerbread House Contest at Hancock Shaker Village | SAT Holiday Craft Fair, Cookie Walk & Tag Sale at Zion Lutheran Church | SAT Lyme Alliance Meeting at Berkshire Athenaeum SAT-SUN Brunch with Santa at Hancock Shaker Village | SAT-SUN Cop on Top 10th Anniversary at Walmart SAT-SUN Albany Berkshire Ballet's The Nutcracker at Barrington Stage | SUN Brunch w/Genna & Jess at Dottie's | SUN Gingerbread House Decorating Party at Dottie's | SUN Jazz Brunch at Hotel on North | SUN Berkshire Concert Choir at Berkshire Museum | SUN Hilltown Choral Society Holiday Concert at Zion Lutheran Church | SUN FREE Eagles Band Holiday Concert at First United Methodist | SUN Service of Lessons & Carols at Hancock Shaker Village | THU Open Swim at Gladys Allen Brigham Center | THU Holiday Lights at Arrowhead | THU Holiday Market at Dottie's


TUE Paint "Holiday Pittsfield Park" at Paint & Sip
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