PITTSFIELD — Popular Berkshire County chef Jae Chung is headed back to Pittsfield.
The co-owner of Jae's Asian Bistro on Routes 7 & 20 in Lenox is relocating to Winter Street — likely in September, according the Chung family attorney Jeff Lynch.
"I fully anticipate the same hours, plus the banquet facility," he told the city's Licensing Board on Monday.
Lynch referring to Jae's being open seven days a week for a total of 68 hours, according to the restaurant's website.
Chung will be no stranger to Pittsfield having had a pair of troubled restaurants at the same 297 North St. location before setting up shop at the Lenox Commons in early 2012. He's also operated eateries in Williamstown and Boston.
Lynch was before the city revealing the latest twist in the Chung family trying to make a go of Seven Winter Grille, which opened at 7 Winter St. three years ago, after a group headed by Chung's wife, Suzanne Chung bought the building from Anthony Mazzeo. The new owners opened a restaurant with steakhouse fare, but closed it in April 2015 for extensive renovations.
However, continued construction delays to primarily make the former Mazzeo's Ristorante accessible — especially the banquet hall — pushed back the expected reopening several times, the latest was to be mid-July.
Lynch has updated the licensing board several times on when Seven Winter Grille would re-open so their liquor license would be active again.
The Chungs have had a change of heart and will combine the two operations, according to their lawyer.
"Due to a change in the business design, it will re-open as Jae's Grille with the same ownership [as Jae's Asian Bistro,]" he said,
Lynch was seeking to have Suzanne Chung made the manager of record on the liquor license instead of Michael Mulligan who managed Seven Winter Grille, which held the license.
Given Chung has a full-time job outside the restaurant business, her being a part-time manager didn't bode well with the five-member board.
"If she's absent more than she's there, how can she be the manager," said Board Chairman Carmen C. Massimiano.
Lynch said the part-time arrangement has worked in Lenox without any liquor license violations, as Suzanne Chung's name is on the license there. He indicated Chung being on the Pittsfield license was temporary, to allow for Jae's to within a two -month period.
"We need a manager of record with experience," Lynch said.
The board tabled the change of manager request until next month's meeting in hopes of hearing who covers for Chung when she's not on site.
"Obviously, the situation is working in Lenox, but we want to know who are the players beyond Suzanne Chung," said board member Thomas Campoli.
The board also wants Mrs. Chung present at the August meeting to personally explain how she handles being responsible for a liquor license.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233