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The owners of RJ's on First Street are taking over the restaurant space in Hotel on North.

RJ's Taking Over Hotel on North Restaurant

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The owners of a well-received city eatery are taking over a shuttered North Street spot.  

The Licensing Board approved a change of manager and transfer of liquor license from Berkshire Palate to J&D Reyes Restaurant Entertainment, the owners of RJ's Restaurant on First Street.

The space is located at 297 North St. within Hotel on North and formerly housed Berkshire Palate's second location. Jose and David Reyes say they will manage the two restaurants simultaneously, as they are nearby.

"I know that Jose has had a real presence at RJ's," Chairman Thomas Campoli said.

The proprietors' lawyer pointed out that in three years of business, they have kept steady business and stayed out of trouble by not over-serving, having police involvement, or coming before the Licensing Board for a show cause hearing.

"Between the two of them, they do a wonderful job juggling the current restaurant that they have, which is very busy," she said.

"And I think as you have all — many people in the county have seen — they've done a tremendous job with that location specifically in creating what they have created."

The license transfers were approved conditionally on the applicant receiving its outstanding certificates with the Department of Unemployment Assistance and the Department of Revenue.

RJ's opened in the former Rainbow Restaurant in 2021 to specialize in seafood, chops, and pasta in an elegant but approachable setting.  

Jose Reyes has worked in the restaurant business for nearly 30 years and has operated his own since 2005. Before the Pittsfield venture, he was the proprietor of venues in Long Island, N.Y., but wanted to expand his operations outside of the big city.

Berkshire Palate, a farm-to-table eatery, opened its second location in the Hotel on North spot in 2021.  Around the same time, its owners opened 413 Bistro in the previously shuttered restaurant attached to the Holiday Inn on Main Street in North Adams.

According to The Berkshire Eagle, Berkshire Palate closed its Pittsfield doors indefinitely in January to "retool and refine the restaurant's operations to fit better into its business model." The hotel had opened in 2015 with the restaurant Eat on North. 

The board also had a preliminary discussion with Berkshire Mazda about changing its license to solely sell pre-owned vehicles. The car dealership is building a new location on Route 7 in Lenox and would like to keep its location on East Street for used vehicles.

Tags: license board,   restaurants,   

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Letter: Berkshire State Delegation Needed to Pass Ban on Puppy Mills

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The public may be aware that I spear-headed local legislation in Pittsfield and Lenox banning the sale of puppies from puppy mills at pet stores. Berkshire Voters for Animals and the Massachusetts Humane Society were strong advocates and helped immensely.

I have received an email from Berkshire Voters for Animals stating, "There is still one of our bills in its original committee that needs to be released by June 14th or it will not have a chance to be passed this session. Time is running out for Massachusetts lawmakers to advance legislation that will prevent commercial dog breeders (puppy mills) from trucking cruelly bred puppies into pet shops. New York, Maryland and California have successfully passed similar laws. Massachusetts should be next!"

The appeal was that "We need you to contact your rep to ask them to contact the House Chair of the Environment Committee to release the bill."

It is my hope that the bill makes it out of committee and not die there, as too many good pieces of proposed legislation often does. I cannot stress how popular these initiatives were. In Pittsfield, I have had ordinances pass that took literally as much as one-half a decade to get passed. No so with this. Dozens upon dozens showed up in support for the ordinance. The Pittsfield City Council passed it immediately, with no debate.

Lenox has an open town meeting where any town resident can show up and vote, and of the dozens upon dozens of people that attended (it may have been over 100, but I am not a good judge of audience size), not a single one voted against the legislation when put to a final vote. In fact, that vote was almost instantaneous.

According to the letter, Sen. Paul Mark and he has spoken with the Senate chair. I respectfully request Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Rep. John Barrett, and Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, excellent legislators of the Berkshire Delegation of whom I am fond of, to help pass S.550/H. 826/S. 549, "An Act banning the retail sale of cats and dogs in pet shops" before the 2024 legislative session ends. This salutary law is enjoys widespread and practically unanimous support from the public.

Rinaldo Del Gallo
Pittsfield, Mass.




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