LENOX The owners of Mazcots Sports Bar & Grill on Pittsfield-Lenox Road will not reopen the eatery following the COVID-19 pandemic and are planning to replace it with a deli and market-style place

Tony Mazzeo, who owns Mazcots with his brother, Michael, said this week the new business will be known as Mazzeo's Importing Market, and is scheduled to open between mid-August and the beginning of September.

"We're under construction right now," he said.

The new business will have a deli and a store, and cafe tables. It will offer mostly takeout fare, including the family-style meals that the brothers have provided at their other venue, Mazzeo's Ristorante in Pittsfield, since March when the state shutdown restaurants due to the pandemic. The new eatery will open at 7 a..m. and include different types of breakfast sandwiches along with homemade doughnuts.

"We're still experimenting with a lot of the menu stuff," Mazzeo said. "We're doing a lot of work (now) and trying to work on it."

Mazzeo said he hopes to retain the majority of Mazcots' some 20 employees. He has also returned his all-alcohol restaurant license to the town of Lenox, and is in the process of applying or a beer and wine package store license from the town.

In 2018, Mazzeo had previously considered opening a deli and take out place at the former Berkshire Flower Co. property across South Street from Mazzeo's Ristorante. But that proposal fell through after it was opposed by several groups who wanted to preserve the parcel as green space based on the recommendation of the parcel's former owner, Bridget Brown.

Mazzeo said the social distancing measures that the state has put into place to allow indoor dining to resume in Massachusetts would have made it difficult to reopen Mazcots.

"The biggest reason is the limited seating with the 6-foot separation," he said. "I think that place sat 85 people. If I was to try and open it I don't know if I could get 40 people in there. The bars are like the last thing to reopen and I was worried about a second surge (of the coronavirus) and getting reclosed."

Mazcots opened in September 2013 on the site of the former Halpin's Grub and Grog. Before Halpin's, the property housed Sophia's Restaurant and Pizza for several years.

"It's been a great business," Mazzeo said. "We had a lot of loyal customers."

Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-281-2755.