PITTSFIELD — A popular North Street breakfast and lunch spot is planning to open a second location in the Lenox Commons mixed-use shopping complex on Pittsfield Lenox Road.
On A Roll Cafe & Catering plans to open a second eatery in the space at Lenox Commons that is currently occupied by the Lenox Cafe, which opened last July.
Owner David Barile is hoping to open his Lenox restaurant, which also will be known as On A Roll Cafe, by May 1.
"Mother's Day will kind of be the big opening day," Barile said.
On A Roll in Lenox will be led by chef/manager Xavier Jones, who has worked at several Berkshire eateries and at restaurants in Saratoga, N.Y.
Barile said he is planning to keep the Lenox Cafe's nine current staffers, and hire between three and five more.
Like the Pittsfield restaurant, On A Roll in Lenox will serve just breakfast and lunch, although it's possible that dinner may be served on the weekends, according to Lenox Commons owner David Ward. The Lenox eatery will be open seven days a week, Ward said.
Barile, who opened On A Roll on North Street 13 years ago, said he had been thinking about opening a second location for "quite a while" and had been working on a deal with Ward "for a couple of years."
"I tried to get in there after Jonathan's closed," Barile said, referring to Jonathan's Bistro, which occupied the space from 2009 through January 2013.
"He came to me probably a year ago thinking of expanding out of Pittsfield," said Ward, who also owns LD Builders of Lenox, and is a member of Cranwell Resort Spa & Golf Club's ownership group.
"The time was just right now at the beginning of the season," Ward said, referring to the upcoming summer tourist season, which officially starts on Memorial Day weekend.
"He's got a good following, he's got a good reputation and there's a need for breakfast and lunch especially in our shopping center," Ward said. "We have 41 condominiums around here and the only other restaurant we have is Jae's (Asian Bistro) and that's lunch and dinner.
"There's also a need for catering and he's done catering," Ward said.
Ward opened the Lenox Cafe after taking over the restaurant last summer from former owners Laura Shack and Zee Vassos. Shack and Vassos' establishment, The Kitchen on the Commons, opened in May 2013 before closing early last summer.
Unlike Jonathan's, which served lunch and dinner, Lenox Cafe and The Kitchen also served just breakfast and lunch. But Barile believes he can succeed in that space with the same format.
"I think that little complex between Jae's and especially Chocolate Springs is its own little destination spot," Barile said. "And, I think that will help the destination actually with us being there as well."
"The name of the game in the restaurant business is good food and good service. It's a very simple formula," Ward said. "The breakfast and lunch business has to turn quickly in and out, it's not like dinner where you can sit there for half an hour. Service is critical, and that was one of the problems we had (before)."
Recognition with the "On A Roll" name should also help provide patrons to the shopping center.
"In June it will be 13 years since I've had this place," Barile said, referring to the eatery in Pittsfield. "People really enjoy it, and I think being closer to that end of the county is going to be a plus for us."
Some 30 percent of On A Roll's Pittsfield patrons are South County residents, he said.
This will actually be On A Roll's third expansion. In January, On A Roll took over the management of "Eagle's Landing," a small deli located in the basement of the Clock Tower Business Park on South Church Street from That's A Wrap, a Pittsfield-based sandwich shop.
Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413-496-6224.