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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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Pittsfield Man Charged in Second Fire at White Terrace Building

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man is being charged with arson after firefighters responded Thursday to a second blaze at the large apartment building on White Terrace and North Street.
 
Police say Joseph Stone, 43 was taken into custody on Thursday and will be arraigned on Friday in District Court on a single charge of arson.
 
The fire was called in at about 2:17 p.m. on Thursday at 8 White Terrace. Firefighters were quickly able to extinguish the fire, though the building did suffer damage. No injuries were reported and the investigation led to Stone, said police.
 
The vacant building was the site of a major structure fire on Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 6 White Terrace, the neighboring building. The multi-apartment structures have been vacant since another major fire in 2017 that was deemed accidental.
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