Pittsfield OK's Alcohol License Transfer to Camp Arrow Wood

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Despite pushback from neighbors, the Licensing Board on Monday approved a liquor license transfer from a long-shuttered restaurant to Camp Arrow Wood located on Cloverdale Street.

The unanimous vote changed the location, manager, and management/operating agreement from The Elbow Room to the camp, which is a venture of Mill Town Capital. The Elbow Room has been closed for about five years.

It was approved in October 2021 but was kicked back by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission because the transfer also required a change of location and public notice to abutters, which was provided in mid-June.

Residents of Cloverdale Street expressed safety concerns pertaining to the property having a liquor license, saying the neighborhood is a quiet place that they don't want to be disrupted by unruly patrons.

"Cloverdale Street is a quiet, peaceful, rural neighborhood. Allowing alcohol to be sold in this camp would decrease our property values, would increase traffic, and more importantly, destroy the character of the neighborhood," a resident said.

"For this board to approve this license transfer, in my opinion, would be a disservice to all of us, you as stewards of the city, and for us as taxpayers in this city."

Others said they fear people will drive drunk down their street after leaving the venue.

Mill Town acquired the camp, the former Berkshire West, and Bousquet Ski Area in 2020 to enhance outdoor and indoor recreation offerings in the area.

Camp Arrow Wood opened as a sports-centric program this summer and in the off-season, it will be available to rent for events or "retreats." There are four spaces that have been identified for such use: a quad right by the water, a rustic barn, the dining room, and a four-season auxiliary lodge.

The property has been used as a camp for more than 100 years and for the last 40 years operated as the Lakeside Christian Camp. The camp was closed in 2020 and 2021.

"The use that's proposed is the same use that was made by the Christian camp, it was known since way back in 1985 and received a special permit as the Baptist Christian Camp and Retreat Center. And so the use is the same," attorney Michael MacDonald said, representing the applicant.

"The nature of the retreats will be private, whether they are corporate, family reunion, those sorts of things. There's a practical limitation on the times of year that you can make use of it. Most of those buildings are not winterized, there are three buildings on campus that are winterized."

Chairman Thomas Campoli reported that the ABCC has asked the camp to clarify its floor plans and identify points of alcohol service. This was beyond the scope of the board's duties for that day, as it was voting on the transfer.

In other news, the board also approved a package store license transfer from K&K Liquors located at 1220 North St. to Frankys, which will be a new package store in its place and managed by Jose Goncalves.

The board was also notified that the owner of La Fogata on Tyler Street Miguel Gomez is staged to purchase Titos Mexican Grille.  He assured the board that he will be operating the two restaurants and will not be moving La Fogata there.


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West Side Mural Wishes for Greener Future

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

The mural was commissioned by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity. Director Carolyn Valli says murals bring 'a sense of hope.' The nonprofit is building two units of housing near the artwork.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new mural on the West Side depicts a vision of a green community.
On Friday, the completion of "I Wish … For a Greener Future" by Hope Aguilera was celebrated by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, which commissioned the piece as a part of neighborhood revitalization efforts.
Located on the B&P Auto Body Supply at the corner of Robbins Avenue and Columbus Avenue, it depicts a young boy making a wish on a dandelion with an eco-friendly landscape in the background. Within the mural is a farm, windmills to supply energy, an electric car, and a Bird scooter.
"Whenever you start thinking about doing a mural project or doing anything like this Habitat's perspective is 'What do we want to help the community do because it's something they want?'" CEO Carolyn Valli said.
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