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A general store offering many local products is being planned for empty office space in the former Vacation Village.

Lanesborough Will Consider New General Store For Beer, Wine License

By Joe DurwiniBerkshires Staff
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The board also heard about the annual townwide cleanup day on April 24.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A new general store-style retailer with a focus on offering local products was given the nod to move forward with planning at a long vacant commercial space on Route 7, part of a complex formerly occupied by Vacation Village of the Berkshires.
 
The Select Board on Monday offered no objection to a preliminary inquiry presented by Ana Bradbury about applying for a wine and beer license. Bradbury indicated the business — which was not identified by name — wanted to get a read on the availability and likelihood of obtaining the license before moving forward with the various other permitting steps.
 
Bradbury said the store intends to offer "home goods and limited groceries" with the goal of stocking most of its shelves with products from within the region.
 
"Everything from artisans to farms, the major items are going to be from the Berkshires," said Bradbury.
 
In addition to farmed products like cheese, produce, and maple syrup, she also hopes to sell a selection of craft beers, and wines from Massachusetts. Currently, five beer and wine licenses are available in Lanesborough, on a first-come, first-serve basis. This license is the only one of the permitting requirements for the business that comes under the purview of the Select Board.
 
Select Board members told Bradbury they have no prohibitive concerns about the concept of granting one of the licenses at that location, and were generally pleased to see the vacant space utilized.
 
"This will be a fun shop to go to, an attraction," said Select Board member Gordon Hubbard. "As long as the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, I would be a huge advocate of new opportunities for Lanesborough."
 
Building inspector Rick Reid said significant work will need to be involved to re-purpose the intended space at 20 Williamstown Road, which consists of four gutted previous office spaces, formerly part of office and conference space for Vacation Village.
 
It is part of a five-building complex sold in August by Patriot Resorts Corp. for $250,000 Anthony P. Doyle, trustee of the Normalk NT, according to Berkshire County real estate records. Several other businesses have moved there in recent months.
 
In other business:
 
For the 13th consecutive year, Lanesborough will host a townwide volunteer clean up of its public roadways on Saturday, April 24.
 
Martha Freedman of the Lanesborough Town Clean Up Committee told the board that trash bags and information will be available at Lanesborough Elementary School from 9 to noon, unless there is rain.
 
"People usually have places that are really bothering them, where they see trash piling up," Freedman said, though the group is not encouraging residents to tackle more highly trafficked highways such as Route 7, which could be dangerous.
 
Freedman said a master list of any larger items that are found that can't be picked up will be provided to the Highway Department, as in past years.
 
• The Select Board voted to finalize a new formal process for receiving complaints from residents, proposed by town employees in March. 
 
A new form will be available on the town website to process complaints confidentially; complaints about any town staff will go to town manager, unless the complaint is about the town manager, in which case it will go to the chair of the Select Board.
 

Tags: new business,   alcohol license,   

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Berkshire Mantiques Owner Aims to Create Lanesborough 'Destination'

By Joe DurwiniBerkshires Staff

Prince will be hosting live performances throughout the summer.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — After surviving cancer and then a layoff, Joe Prince decided to follow his own star and start a business. He could not have predicted a worldwide pandemic would strike almost immediately after he did so.
 
"We were in there just a couple of weeks before COVID came along and shut us down," Prince told iBerkshires of his first, short-lived shop opened in Cheshire in early 2020.
 
After struggling to reopen and make it work at his first location for a few months, he switched gears and went bigger, one town over.
 
Restructuring from his 1,300 square-foot Cheshire store, Prince moved his Berkshire Mantiques to a 7,000 square-foot space along Lanesborough's Route 7 corridor. What's more, he leased the entire five-building, 2.5 acre property in which it's situated, and since November has quickly gone about filling it with more businesses and special events to create an entertainment venue component.
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