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Mama's Place opened last month at 85 Commercial St. in Adams.

Mama's Place Bringing Pub-Style Home Cooking to Adams

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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Owner AnnMarie Belmonte says the community has been very supportive of her newest venture, Mama's Place. 

ADAMS, Mass. — Mama's Place at 85 Commercial St. is spooning up homemade fare made by veteran restaurateur Annmarie Belmonte.

"It's pub-style food with specials that are more of what you would see in a homemade style," she said. "But the center of it is pub-style food at affordable prices."

Nearly two months after opening, Belmonte said the eatery is doing well.

Mama's Place opened on Oct. 5 and operates from 2 to 8 Tuesday through Friday and noon to 8 on Saturday for winter hours. Belmonte said she wanted to offer Adams something that it didn't have with Mama's Place.

Her goal with Mama's Place was to provide Adams with homemade food and desserts while also keeping it at an economical price. She is active on the eatery's Facebook page, often posting about specials and deals for the restaurant.

"I do a soup every day. They're always homemade. It's not anything that's coming from a can. So basically, it was to offer something in town that was different and affordable," she said. "That's basically what the whole vibe is here. I do homemade whoopie pies and cookies. I also have homemade chocolates that I do."

The community has been highly supportive since Mama's Place opened, according to Belmonte. She said it is crucial for the Adams community to support all local businesses.

"It really has been great over the last two months," she said. "I hope to see more of a continuance of what we've seen so far. Maybe on a slightly larger scale, but not going crazy because I still want this to be more of that homey feel."

Belmonte said she and her husband had previously operated Izzy's Pizza in the same building nearly a decade ago. She said despite being in a familiar location, Mama's Place has a distinct and unique ambiance.

"I'm no stranger to this space," she said. "But it's a different feel and a different vibe with having pub food and not pizza or anything like that."

Patrons of Viking Pub, next door at 83 Commercial St., can order from Mama's Place's menu. Belmonte explained, despite the pub food, she wants her restaurant to have a family-style atmosphere that people can visit for all occasions.

"A lot of people tend to think that this is just a straight-up bar room, and it's not," she said. "There are high-top tables in here where you can sit down, and someone's going to wait on you. And I think that that kind of gets lost along the way."

In addition to Izzy's Pizza, there have been a number of eateries in that space over the years, including Bigg Daddy's Philly Steak House, the Pitchfork, Valhalla Eatery and, most recently, the Village Fryer that closed in August.

Long-term plans that Belmonte said she has for the restaurant are catering, events and night offerings. She also hopes to be able to expand the menu over time to have a more diverse selection.

"I've kind of been toying with that here and there with specials to see how something other than just burgers and sandwiches and hot dogs would go," she said. "So, for instance, I offer a chicken bowl where you have mashed potatoes, corn, chicken and gravy. And that seems to go really well. Stuff like that where it's not a five-star sit-down restaurant, but it is a good home-cooked, comfort food feel that you can take home and not scarf down like you would a burger or sandwich."

The menu offers salads, sandwiches, soups, hamburgers, hot dogs and sides for dine-in or takeout. Entrees are all under $10. Plus, Mama's Place has daily specials and family meals. 
Those interested in learning more about Mama's Place can visit the restaurant's Facebook page. Winter hours 

Tags: new business,   restaurants,   

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Adams Dissolves Memorial Building Subcommittee; Renovations Near Completion

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — As renovations to the former Memorial School Building wrap up, the Board of Selectmen has decided to dissolve the subcommittee that worked toward reuse of the former middle school. 


"So over the many years after the board appointed this subcommittee, I believe it is time to put an end to this subcommittee," said Selectmen Chairman John Duval. 


The board voted to dissolve the subcommittee on Wednesday as the building moves toward a tentative re-opening for public use in the spring. Eight years after its formation, Duval said the subcommittee has finally completed the goal it set out to achieve. 


Once renovations are complete, the facility will become the center of operations for the Adams Council on Aging and several spaces will be opened for public use. Additionally, the Selectmen chose developer Wayland North late last year to develop parts of the facility into commercial and residential space.  


The Public Works and Facilities Subcommittee has taken the responsibility of determining the usage and policy surrounding public use of the building, which was  discussed at its meeting on Jan. 13. At that meeting, Town Administrator Jay Green said May is the target for re-opening but the exact time will depend on several factors, including moving and completing other aspects of the facility like bathrooms. 


"If we can get more work done first before anybody goes in there, I think, logistically, that's the better solution," he said. "But we're very early in those stages."


The fee structure and other usage guidelines for the building are still to be determined. Green said the gymnasium is nearly ready for use, barring the installation of covers for thermostats and wall fixtures. 


"Right now, that is the one primary thing that is keeping us from being able to really allow use of that gymnasium," he said. "They're on order. They're being paid attention to as soon as we can get those in and get those secured. The risk of damage to those and against substantial cost in money, I think is too much." 


Green said even when cover installs are complete, he thinks it would be best to not open the facility for public use until the weather is better. He said facilities staff needs time to adjust to maintaining the building, which would be hard when they have other town buildings to manage. 


"They haven't been going over to memorial at all during inclement weather because the building is not open to the public," he said. "So if we were to open that building, let's say those cages come in tomorrow and we put those up, I would still not necessarily recommend that we do that." 


Additionally, Green said the town has to complete the work necessary to secure parts of the building from public access. He said this is necessary to prevent those using the building from entering the private development spaces. 


"We have a developer who is negotiating with the town to develop it," he said. "And we want to make sure that we have the ability to keep anyone who is using the building out of those spaces. So that's ongoing, almost complete." 


The auditorium, Green said, is one area of the building that is not currently ready for public use. He said the use of the auditorium is pending an update on its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. 


"The auditorium does not have HVAC," he said. "It is not air-conditioned, it is not heated because the original heating plant for the building has been decommissioned. So that is a future capital project for the town to come up with a plan to provide the same air conditioning heat that the lobby, gymnasium and Council on Aging function spaces have." 


Green said coming up with use guidelines and a schedule for the building will be a significant priority once it is opened for public use again. He said the town needs to work with the COA and others using the building to keep the facility organized and ready for whoever needs to use it. 


"If they know the building is going to be used that evening for basketball practice or something, they're going to have to clean their stuff up," he said. "So it'll just require some day-to-day management."

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