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Jose Reyes, left, and David Reyes outside the new RJ's Restaurant on First Street.
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The new eatery in the location of the former Rainbow Restaurant that closed during the pandemic.

RJ's Restaurant Opens in Former Rainbow in Pittsfield

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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The Reyes, cousins, have had a long career in the restaurant business. Jose Reyes also operates two restaurants in Connecticut and one in New York.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After owning and operating a variety of eateries in Long Island, Jose Reyes has decided to start a new venture in Pittsfield.

RJ's Restaurant — located in the former Rainbow Restaurant on First Street — specializes in seafood, chops, and pasta in an elegant but approachable setting.

Reyes said he is excited to expand his offerings to the Berkshires. The restaurant opened last week and has gotten a positive response from the community, at some times filling up to capacity, he said.

"My background has been restaurants a long time," Reyes said. "I've been in the business on my own since 2005, I've been working on restaurant business experiences since 1995."  

He came up with the name "RJ's" by taking a letter from his first, last, and middle name, which is Solomon.

The operation is a joint family effort with Reyes managing the front of house and his cousin David Reyes running the kitchen.  

"He wanted to do something together and said, 'you have a good experience in the restaurant, and also he was like 'let's do something together,' he's been in the restaurant business for over 25 years," Reyes said about his cousin and head chef.

"Also he worked for a fine dining Italian restaurant in New York, that's how we put ideas together and we come up with these menus, and it seems like it's working, the people like what we're doing."

The menu includes classic Italian offerings such as mussels in spicy fra Diavolo marinara sauce, cold antipasto, and eggplant parmesan along with a variety of poultry, beef, and seafood dishes.

Reyes said they are especially focused on their seafood cuisine.



With a full pouring license, diners can order beer, wine, and liquor to go with their meals.

Like many restaurants across the country, Reyes currently has additional server and busser positions open. In a week or so, he plans to be fully staffed.   

Previously, he was the proprietor of many venues in Long Island but wanted to expand his operations outside of the big city.

Former tenant the Rainbow closed during the pandemic. Owners Luisa and John Economou had bought the operation from its original owners, the Sacchetti family, in 2013.

In addition to RJ's, Reyes also owns and operates Picante's Lakeville in Lakeville, Conn., Picante's Canaan in Canaan, Conn., and Picante's Chatham with partner Fernando Galicia Rivera in Chatham N.Y.

RJ's also offers catering and to-go ordering. Reyes said they already have three catering events lined up and are anticipating adopting online ordering for customer's convenience.

"And we had somebody contact us for the holidays, there's a lot of work ahead of us and we want to make it happen," He added.

He also plans to offer live music in the future.

RJ's is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Monday is open for dinner only from 4 to 10.

To make an online reservation or view the menu visit www.rjs109.com/


Tags: new business,   restaurants,   

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Celebrate World Fish Migration Day at Berkshire Athenaeum

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Celebrate World Fish Migration Day at the Pittsfield Public Library on Saturday, May 21, from 10 AM to 12 PM. 
 
Join Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Housatonic Valley Association, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, and the City of Pittsfield for this free day that takes place every two years as a global celebration to create awareness about the importance of migratory fish and free-flowing rivers.
 
As part of this event, interactive displays for all ages will demonstrate some of the challenges migratory fish encounter—from physical barriers, such as dams and culverts, to runoff pollution that enters aquatic ecosystems. There will also be fun and engaging activities designed to educate children on migratory fish.
 
Additionally, presentations accompanied by short videos will begin at 10:30 AM and continue until 11:15 AM. Speakers will talk about the importance of fish being able to freely move throughout their habitat, the significance of fish-friendly culverts, and the effects of climate change on migratory fish. There will also be a discussion on dam and culvert removals that have taken or are currently taking place in Pittsfield, some of the water quality testing underway to ensure pollutants aren't entering the streams, and more. 
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