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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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Community Walks 'Out of The Darkness' for Suicide Prevention

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Lori Murphy speaks at Saturday's walk about how mental illness and suicide has affected her family.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Some 200 people participated in the Berkshire County Out of the Darkness walk for suicide prevention on Saturday. For some, it was a day to honor the life of a loved one and for others, it was a day to acknowledge themselves as survivors.

Walkers began at the Common, made a loop around Silver Lake, and returned back to the park. The walks began nationally in 2004 and has been in the Berkshires since 2015.

Members of the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention and others shared their stories during the event of how suicide affected them and their families.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. To contact the Crisis Text Line, text HELLO to 741741.

"We're all here because we have a connection to suicide," said coalition Vice President Bertha Connelley. "We acknowledge all the different connections that bring you here today."

According to data from American Federation for Suicide Prevention, around 46,000 people died by suicide in the United States in 2020. That is 125 per day and one every 11 1/2 minutes.

"We also know that 90 percent of these people had a diagnosable and treatable psychological illness at the time of their death," Connelley added.

"We've gathered here today to raise awareness, decrease the stigma, and support research that will help identify and treat people suffering from mental illnesses with the ultimate goal of continuing to lower these numbers ...

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