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An operation with liquor stores in the eastern part of the state is purchasing the former V&V in North Adams that closed in February. Nothing appears to have been touched inside since the doors were locked.

North Adams Liquor Store Has New Owner; Vegan Eatery Gets Alcohol License

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The former V&V liquor store is expected to reopen under new management. 
The License Board on Tuesday approved two license transfers including one for V&V and a license for a restaurant in the former BrewHaHa on West Main Street. 
Tracy Rackauskas and Benjamin Dinsmore, owners of Migration Taco truck, purchased the old West End Market for $253,500 in December. They applied for an-alcohol license for their newest venture. 
"We are hoping to have a small vegetable-forward restaurant there that will serve dinner from Thursday through Sunday 5 to 10 p.m.," said Rackauskas. "We're focusing on scratch-made ingredients using seasonal produce. It's going to be vegan, which is sorely missing cuisine here in restaurants."
When asked how having alcohol would complement their fare, she responded that "as vegans if we go out to dinner, we would like to have a beer with our meal.
"And I think, especially with all the natural wine that's happening and the environmentally friendly focus, which is what we're really into. I think it would absolutely enhance our vegan offerings."
The two said they had some experience with alcohol service having worked at breweries. Rackauskas said she was TIPs-certified (Training for Intervention Procedures) and that staff would also be. 
"We plan to start with a very small staff," she said. "So I think we'd probably look to be hiring three or four people to start. We know it's been challenging to hire and we want to have the small staff so we can pay people well and have them stick around."
The couple started the vegan Migration Taco in Denver in 2019 and moved to North Adams about a year ago, participating in a number of events including First Friday. They said the food truck was being stored at 437 West Main but would not be used to serve food there.
The board approved the license with the condition that the back patio, which hosts a couple tables, be blocked from access from the outside to better control alcohol service. Rackauskas said they are "pretty close" to opening and would be appearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, May 20.  
V&V, also known as Steeple City Liquors, abruptly shuttered in February after the Steeple City Plaza was sold. The store had been operated by the company that owned the plaza for nearly 20 years. 
The board approved a transfer of the alcohol license to Mahakaleshwar LLC, doing business as Liquor World and Market.  
Attorney Matthew Porter said the principals had spoken with the Board of Health and had an inspection of the premises completed on Monday. 
"It was a blessing in disguise," he said. "There was a few items that they needed cleared up. So inspection has already cleared it. They issued that DBA certificate."
There will be some cosmetic updates and rebranding but no structural changes to the building or changes in hours. Five or six former employees had also been contacted about coming back to work.
In response to a question about "market" in the name, Porter said, "there'll be some convenience store products. It's a massive store. So they'll carry some convenience store products but the vast majority of it will be as it was operated up until I believe February when they closed down."
Liquor World operates seven liquor stores in the eastern part of the state and saw this as an opportunity to expand a well-established name, Porter said. 
Shivam Patel, recently engaged, will be settling in the area to manage the store and Porter said he was very experienced working as a licensed manager for Liquor World. 
"They've had no violations whatsoever, so they have a sterling reputation," the attorney said. "And then Chirag Patel is with us as well. He's the other partner. He has a store in Pittsfield so he has, you know, Western Mass roots as well."
The board approved the license and also signed a pledge of license for Rockland Trust, which is financing the transaction. 
The board also approved a transfer of directors and manager of record for Honey Beer LLC, operating as Ed's Variety at 524 Union St. 
Vijaykumar Sukhadiya and Kamlesh Patel are purchasing the shares of the business. Sukhadiya has been managing the store for some time along with Bernadette Hakkinen, named as the new manager. Porter, also representing Sukhadiya, said it was basically an internal transfer with no other changes. 
The board approved a series of one-day licenses for Bright Ideas Brewing to again sell its beer at home games for the SteepleCats at Joe Wolfe Field. 

Tags: license board,   alcohol license,   liquor license,   

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North Adams High School Athletes Place Flags on Veterans Graves

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Raegan Keil, daughter of VSO Mitchell Keil, participates in placing the American Flag on veterans' graves. The first flag she placed was in the marker of Michael Kline, her grandfather.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Athletes from Drury High School and McCann Technical School gave up the rare free Saturday morning to place flags on veterans graves in Southview Cemetery.
"I was very humbled when I saw the cars coming in, and I actually had to go over to the corner and put my sunglasses down and hide my tears, because it was very, very humbling to see everybody show up," said Travys Rivers, the city's veterans grave officer.
Rivers, a firefighter and veteran, said he sent out the "bat signal" and called John Moore of Drury and Robin Finnegan of McCann to see if any of the sports teams were free.
River said he was unsure what to expect, knowing many student athletes likely had games or practice. But come Saturday morning, around 100 students showed up with coaches and high school athletics administration. 
"I am amazed by these kids. They gave up a Saturday morning. They could have slept in if they didn't have practice or whatever," Rivers said. "They did not have to do this but instead came down and busted their butts."
Northern Berkshire Veterans Service Officer Mitchell Keil added that he often hears that the youth do not participate in civic activities. He said Saturday proves the opposite.
"As a veteran, it is heartwarming to see this type of participation from today's youth and encouraging for the future of the community. They may not understand the impact their involvement has on those that see them in action or those family members that visit a departed loved one's grave and see them continuously honored," he said. "Our city has a large group of individuals that are dedicated to honoring those veterans that have passed. This long tradition is in good hands, and as we move forward I encourage all to take part in the pursuit of honoring our veterans daily."
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