North Adams Package Store Being Sold

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Dave's Package Store on River Street will soon be under new management.
The License Commission on Tuesday approved a transfer of the beer/wine package store license from RMR Enterprises LLC to Shahmer LLC, represented by Abbas Choudhry. 
The package store has been located on the corner of River and Eagle street since 1959. It was for decades known as Lopardo's but also had a short life as River Street Package Store before David Atwell purchased it and opened in late February 2018.
Atwell said he's just been too busy with his other businesses — another package store in Dalton and the Thrifty Bundle laundrymat in North Adams — to keep Dave's going. He, like many other business owners, cited staffing problems. 
Choudhry told the board that he operates a package store in Williamstown as well as several in New York State. He acknowledged that the Williamstown had issued a temporary suspension a few years back of an underage sale but that it did not involve the state and that all his employees are all TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certified. 
"We did everything after that, from TIPS recertification and all that," Choudhry said.
He said the hours, product and employees would remain the same, as would the drive-up window. There are also no renovations planned at this time. 
The business is under contract but the purchase won't be completed until the license is issued by the state. 
"Once we get the license issued and all that, that's when we will take over under the new LLC," Choudhry said.
The transfer was approved with Commissioner Peter Breen abstaining because his daughter's law firm was representing the applicant. 
The commission also approved a one-day license for the Berkshire Cider Project to sell its beverages at the next First Friday event on Eagle Street on Oct. 7.

Tags: alcohol license,   package stores,   

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'Augmented Reality' Works Debut at This Week's First Friday

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — This month's First Friday event will offer a different way to engage with art: through augmented reality. 
The Public Arts Commission on Monday approved the installation of signage with QR codes that will give viewers the ability to see artwork overlays by John Craig Freeman and Michael Lewy on local venues. The works will go live Friday night during the Night Market on Eagle Street. 
"The art is augmented reality art. It exists in the virtual world, you cannot see it," said Anna Farrington, owner of Installation Space on Eagle Street that is hosting the exhibit. "The signs will communicate to viewers the QR codes that help you access the art and if you do not already have the QR app on your phone to look at the art, it will prompt you to download the Hoverlay app."
Farrington, chair of the commission, stepped away from her position on Monday to make the presentation. She said she had already spoken with Mayor Jennifer Macksey and Building Inspector William Meranti, who approved the project. All that was left was an endorsement from the commission for placing the signs on public property. 
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