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Last call: A look back at the hangouts, watering holes and favorite restaurants we lost during the pandemic

  • 19 min to read
Last call: A look back at the hangouts, watering holes and favorite restaurants we lost during the pandemic

In these places, we blew out birthday candles, toasted successes, perhaps started a romance, and got our fill, and then some, of good food, laughter and community.

COVID-19 has ravaged our restaurant and hospitality industry. Nearly one in five restaurants have closed in Massachusetts since the pandemic started, according to data released by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association last fall. In the Berkshires, as the winter and the pandemic drag on, restaurants struggle week-to-week to stay open with "For Sale" signs popping up all over the county.

These local landmarks filled our bellies, hearts and towns with more than food — some are where couples marked every wedding anniversary, others gave neighbors a good spot to land on Friday nights to catch up — they also gave us a collective sense of what makes the Berkshires. From farm-to-table fare, to killer French fries, extra large omelets and homemade dumplings, these are the dishes we'll miss, from the places we loved. Here, restaurant owners aren't just names, but the people who greet you at the door, or cook your meal to order in a small kitchen. They know your name, your regular order and your community. 

We raise a glass to all those who turned off the lights this past year, poured their last pint and flipped their last burger. Cheers — here's to better days ahead, we hope.


Empire Cafe

Empire Cafe in North Adams

Name: Empire Cafe

Address: 57 Main St., North Adams (connected to Berkshire Emporium)

Type of food/atmosphere: Small cafe serving sweet and savory crepes, paninis, baked goods, soups and coffees. Known as a community gathering spot, the cafe was often full of tourists from Mass MoCA, groups of MCLA students, families and had a steady group of regulars who gathered daily to drink coffee, outdoors in good weather and inside when it was raining or too cold.

Who last owned it: Peter Wheeler

Brief history: Peter Wheeler took over the space, which had previously operated as Oh Crepe! in March 2017. A few months later, in July, Wheeler announced he was bringing “SoCo to NoCo” — he renovated the space to add an ice cream window that sold SoCo Creamery ice cream. This small cafe, located in a sublet space inside of Berkshire Emporium, closed in March 2020 per the governor’s orders and did not reopen.

What is there now: Bailey’s Bakery

What we miss: “I miss Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast dates with my wife at Empire Cafe! It was always Pete behind the counter with a smile. He always had my coffee cup ready before I was even in the door and he knew my order by heart. It was always the same crew every weekend. I miss the cafe so much!”

— J.J. Choquette, North Adams


Gramercy Bistro

Chef and owner Sandy Smith at Gramercy Bistro.

Name: Gramercy Bistro

Address: 87 Marshall St., North Adams (on the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art campus)

Type of food: New American (influences of French, Spanish and German)

Who last owned it: Chef/owner Alexander “Sandy” Smith

Brief history: Chef Alexander “Sandy” Smith and his twin brother, chef Edward “Ned” Smith opened Gramercy Bistro at 30 Marshall St., in North Adams, in 2001. The pair had previously owned the Cobble Cafe and Wild Amber Grille in Williamstown.

“There was a flurry of restaurants opening in North Adams at the time,” Sandy Smith said in a phone interview.

In 2006, Gramercy Bistro expanded to include an adjacent space, and later, in 2010, moved across the street to Mass MoCA. Smith said he “jumped at the opportunity to be part of the museum” when the space, formerly occupied by Cafe Latino and Eleven, became available.

By then, Sandy Smith was the sole proprietor, as his brother had opened the Red Herring in Williamstown.

The restaurant was known for sourcing its food from local farms and meals that were made-to-order. Gramercy Bistro shut down in March 2020, per the governor’s orders and a decision to close permanently followed in the ensuing months.

What is there now: Currently being used as overflow space for Lickety Split.

What we miss: “We loved Gramercy Bistro. We would go there every time we visited the area before we moved here. After we moved to North Adams, we tried to go once a month for either dinner or brunch. The first time I set foot in Gramercy Bistro, I loved how it transported me and made me feel like I had walked into a New York restaurant, really it made me feel like I was back at the Carlyle Hotel. All the meals we had there were wonderful, especially brunches! Great salads, steaks, cocktails, but our favorite thing was the chicken liver pâté/mousse. It was out of this world, we had it every time we went there. It wasn’t on the brunch menu, but when we found out we could still order it at brunch, we were so excited! Sometimes a Caesar salad, liver pâté and a cocktail while sitting at the bar in the late afternoon/early evening was just a little bit of heaven! I would talk it up to people all the time, so many people thought it was more expensive than it really was … It’s closing is a great loss in taste, atmosphere, hospitality and creativity in the city. It was an oasis to escape to and will be greatly missed!”

— Arthur De Bow, North Adams

“I’ve eaten Sandy’s food for a lot of years, even before he opened Gramercy Bistro. I loved Gramercy Bistro when it was on Marshall Street, but I especially loved it over at Mass MoCA. It just fit right in. My two girlfriends and I, we always went there. We could have a nice dinner before or after a show. We had favorite things that we ordered every time. Sandy makes the best crab cakes with wasabi. His pâté and mussels — we always had to order those two. It was just a really good restaurant, especially because it was farm-to-table and he cooked everything to order, so it was really fresh. We definitely miss him. The thing about Sandy, that most people don’t know, is that he’s very generous. Any time I had an Empty Bowl fundraiser [for the Berkshire Food Project], he would donate food. He would let the [Food Project] store food in his walk-in if we had issues with ours. He’s a good guy in that way. He gave to the community; having a small restaurant, I’m sure that wasn’t always easy.”

— Valerie Schwarz, retired Berkshire Food Project executive director


DeMarsico's Wine Cellar

DeMarsico's Wine Cellar.

Name: DeMarsico's Wine Cellar

Address: Norad Mill, 60 Roberts Drive, Suite 211, second floor, North Adams

Type of food: Winery/casual

Who last owned it: Glen and Cheryl DeMarsico

Brief history: The DeMarsicos began making wine at home around 2010, making a blueberry wine with a DIY kit, and eventually adding other fruit wines.

They moved to the basement of Grazie restaurant on Marshall Street in late 2016, doing only wholesale sales. In 2018, they moved into the Norad Mill on Roberts Drive, offering wines, sangrias, meads and hard ciders, in addition to wine tastings and live entertainment.

The wine cellar's Facebook page on Dec. 10, 2020, announced: "It is with great sadness that we have decided to close the Winery at the end of January. COVID has caused such a great loss to our business. With no end in sight, we just can't afford to keep the winery open. We want to thank our customers for all the support you have given us ... We will miss all the wonderful people we have meant these past few years."

What we miss: "I only went to DeMarsico's a few times. It was a comfortable place. I went with my sister both times, for wine tasting. The wines were delicious, and we both bought two bottles. Sangria was a featured wine on one occasion and cider on another. I guess I liked that it was local and the owners had a history with the city. I was also happy that it was housed in a rehab building. The best memory is that one of the times (my sister and I) went was to celebrate our birthdays. We did not realize we would get a free wine tasting for our birthdays. My birthday at the beginning of the week and my sister's at the end, we both got a free wine tasting. All the better to buy a bottle or two of wine."

— Sue Haas Columbus, North Adams


Name: The Mill on the Floss

Address: 342 Route 7, New Ashford

Type of food/atmosphere: French cuisine, fine dining

Who last owned it: Jane Champagne

Brief history: Chef Maurice Champagne and his wife Jane purchased The Mill on the Floss in 1973. Maurice, a classically-trained French chef from Montreal who had trained in Montreal and at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, had worked for the restaurant, both as full-time and seasonal staff, for 21 years prior. Maurice helped establish The Mill on the Floss as a French fine dining restaurant in the early 1960s.

The Mill on the Floss first opened in 1938, as a seasonal tavern inside its present location. The Colonial farmhouse, built in the 1800s, and the surrounding 2,000 acres had been operated as an inn and recreational area for 25 years prior. The Smith-Van Cott estate, known as the Mill on the Floss (its name borrowed from the 19th-century George Eliot book), was owned by Murray D. Smith. He sold the inn and tavern to Mortimer and Peggy Van Cott in 1946, who would expand the restaurant over the next three decades.

In 1978, just five years after the Champagnes purchased the restaurant, it received an unexpected review from New York Times travel writer James Egan who wrote: “... we had the best dinner we’ve ever had in New England. The fare is authentically French, the owner/chef is appropriately named Maurice Champagne.”

The Champagnes put The Mill on the Floss on the market in 1987 (it never sold), as the couple was focusing on Drummond’s, their family-style restaurant at Jiminy Peak. Daughter Suzanne Champagne Ivy, who trained under her father, took over in the kitchen and remained head chef until the governor’s temporary COVID-19 shut-down orders closed the restaurant on March 16, 2020. On Aug. 23, the Champagne family announced the restaurant was permanently closed, after 47 years of ownership, with a farewell video posted on its Facebook page.

What is there now: The property is currently for sale with an asking price of $599,000 through Burnham Gold Real Estate in Williamstown. The historic building includes a second-floor living space with four bedrooms, a living/dining room and kitchen.

What we miss: “Walking into that deeply rich, polished dark wooden bar and dining room for me always just felt like being drenched in comfort and elegance. The look and feel of the place will forever be the benchmark for which all other dining experiences are measured … and in my travels, none can compare. The hanging copper pots at the pass and the fantastic tile work around the the kitchen and garde manger area all just exude the feeling that you’re in for a treat. Most importantly, my fondest memories come from the people who worked at The Mill. The Champagnes are special people. They gave their heart and soul to that place and to the people they served. To spend time with them was always a pleasure and time spent with family … because they treated you as if you were their own.”

— Scott Charland, Westborough (Williamstown native who worked at Mill on the Floss in the late 80s/early 90s).

Mill on the Floss

Chef Suzanne Champagne Ivy at The Mill on the Floss.

“Jane [Champagne] was the first restaurateur in the Berkshires that started buying our berries and vegetables. Long before the Berkshires were known as a farm-to-table hotbed, Jane would come to The Berry Patch on a weekly basis to get our berries, squashes, tomatoes, melons, fresh flowers, lettuces, and other items that we would tell her about. She put orders in on a regular basis and we would have such great conversations when she would come and pick up products. I especially remember when we had a devastating hail storm that destroyed our tomato crop on the very first harvest day of the year. Her empathy and true understanding of what a loss that was to us really is etched in my mind. Most of the public had no understanding how much that one hail storm impacted us for the rest of the season, especially impacting our ability to have the perfect produce that everyone in the U.S. expects. Jane truly understood and was more than happy to get cosmetically damaged produce because it still tasted great.”

— Dale Ila M. Riggs, The Berry Patch, Stephentown, N.Y.

“The Mill has been such an important place for my husband and I whenever we visit The Berkshires. We are from New Jersey and have been visiting The Berkshires for a long time. Visits ALWAYS included dinner at The Mill, whether it be to celebrate Thanksgiving, an anniversary or birthday. The food, the staff and the warm, cozy environment will forever be etched in our minds: impeccable service, outstanding food and an ambiance that couldn't be beat. We were lucky enough to be able to share this special place with friends and family whenever they joined us on our visits. The Berkshires will no longer be the same for us.”

— Carla and Spencer Tracey, Verona, New Jersey

“I have long considered The Mill on the Floss the 'go-to' restaurant to celebrate important family milestones. The atmosphere, food and service have always been dependably top-notch. My fiancé and I held our rehearsal dinner at The Mill on The Floss the day before our wedding ceremony on top of Jiminy Peak. Jane Champagne was so kind and helpful to us in planning the event, and the evening itself was beautifully memorable. My husband and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary with a special dinner at The Mill on the Floss. It was the obvious choice!”

— Sandra Stott Gridley

“The Mill on the Floss has been our favorite restaurant since we moved to The Berkshires in 1973. We will miss this restaurant forever, but we are thankful that they served this community for as long as they did. We have so many memories of evenings with family and friends in that special atmosphere. It felt like being on vacation when we walked in that door and were greeted by Tim [Bushika, front-of-house manager] after just our 20-minute drive from home. The good part about that was that when we were at a fine restaurant when we were actually on vacation, we would often remark to each other that the food and atmosphere there were very good, but no better that at The Mill on the Floss and we could get there any time. We spent many birthdays and anniversaries at The Mill on the Floss. For my husband's 70th birthday, we brought all our children and grandchildren and since his favorite color is yellow, everyone wore his signature color. My husband would always go to the kitchen to ask Jane how the hot dogs were that night. She always chatted and made us feel special no matter how busy the restaurant was. All the staff, from Maurice, Jane, Suzanne and Tim, to all the waitstaff (especially DeeDee) were the finest that can be found. We will miss that experience forever, because that is what it was. It was a fine dining experience that we had the privilege to enjoy for almost 50 years. We are all better for having had that in our lives. “

— Barbara Cece, Williamstown

“Mill on the Floss has always been my family's favorite restaurant. We went there on every major holiday; my husband and I had dinner there every Valentine's Day. When he passed away, my daughter and her husband took me there often. My favorite meal was duck with orange sauce, so delicious! I will always remember the beautiful, cozy restaurant with delicious food and good times with family and friends.”

— Susan Zuckerman, Pittsfield

“We celebrated every wedding anniversary or major life celebration for over 20 years there! The exceptional quality of the service, food and atmosphere made it a very special place to enjoy. We also enjoyed going in early for our reservation and sitting at the cozy bar for a cocktail while chatting with Tim [Bushika, front-of-house manager] so much that we made it a part of every visit. Sitting by the cozy roaring fire added to the great atmosphere. Such a special special place!”

— Kit and Will Turner, Pittsfield

“The first time my husband and I went there was in 1974 when some friends invited us to join them. We loved it so much we continued right until they closed their doors. Along with many other times each year, it was the place we shared our anniversary. We even went on our 25th anniversary, which was on Sept. 11, 2001, when the world stopped turning for a while. It was a bizarre evening as we really did not know whether to cancel or not. Despite the circumstances, we enjoyed another fabulous meal and felt safe if even for a few hours. Over the years we have enjoyed special, fun and sometimes crazy evenings with many friends and family. Always greeted graciously and personally by the Mill’s “family.” By far our favorite restaurant over many years. A special thanks to everyone at The Mill...we miss you all.”

— Kathi and Mark Wheeler

“A large contingent of golfers who participated in the Taconic Golf Course’s Women's 3-Day Invitational would always frequent The Mill on the Tuesday (our "free" night) during the tournament. There were usually 10 or 12 of us in our group. But, inevitably, there would be a few more groups who we would meet up with … We all knew where to go for a great night of food and drink. We will definitely miss The Mill this year.”

— Vicki Richardello


Name: Sen Sushi

Address: 48B North St., Pittsfield

Type of food/atmosphere: Japanese Cuisine

Brief history: Was called Shiro Lounge when opened Dec. 23, 2009, under the same ownership as Shiro Kitchen in Great Barrington. Changed ownership in 2017 and turned in its license in 2020, according to the city clerk’s office. 

What is there now: Empty storefront


Name: International House of Tacos

Address: 1231 W Housatonic St., Pittsfield

Type of food/atmosphere: Casual restaurant that served a rotation of fresh, inventive tacos. There was nothing fussy about the atmosphere — no menus, only chalkboards filled with what was available that day — and if you didn't eat tacos, there wasn't much else here besides an extensive, and surprising, wine and beer list. But Berkshire taco lovers knew you got a lot of flavor for a bargain price. 

Who last owned it: Huy Van Huynh

Brief history: Family has owned the property since the 1980s. The restaurant was originally built in 1965, and became the International House of Tacos in 2017 and was established on the idea that everyone loves tacos. The property was listed for sale in late July 2020 and stopped operating sometimes in early August. 

What is there now: The building, with its equipment inside, recently sold for $177,500.

What we miss: "It suffered from the fact that it was far out of downtown, but what made the place special was that the tacos were made from scratch, every day, and used fresh, delicious ingredients. Huy made marinades and sauces from scratch, and would mix and match the meats and vegetables he'd prepared into whatever configuration you liked. Whatever you ordered, there was probably too much of it and it was delicious. We've got some fine Mexican restaurants in town, and La Fogata is a truly wonderful place to eat South American food, but for global explorations of the concept of yummy meat folded and held in your hand, International House of Tacos was the place to go, and we are a poorer city for its absence."

— Ethan Zuckerman


Name: Chef’s Hat

Address: 905 Simonds Road, Williamstown

Type of food: Diner, home-cooked meals

Current owner: David Rock

Brief history: The building has housed food service businesses for years, including an ice cream shop and the Star Diner. It has been the Chef’s Hat for about 14 years.

What is there now: According to the real estate listing by agent Michael A. Sorrentino, the property for sale is a “turn-key restaurant opportunity just down the street from Williams College with 6,000 to 12,000 vehicles passing by per day. The current seating has nine stools at a counter and seating for another 64 at tables.” The asking price of $239,000 includes the business and the property.

Sorrentino noted that after the shut-down early in the pandemic, the business reopened for a bit, but closed for good last summer.

What we miss: Former server Jayne DeAngelis said that between the employees and the many regular customers, “it was like home, like a family. That’s what I enjoyed about it.”


Hot Tomatoes

Hot Tomatoes Pizza

Name: Hot Tomatoes Pizza

Address: 542 Tyler St., Pittsfield

Type of food/atmosphere: A casual pizzeria known for its thin-crust margarita pizzas with fresh tomatoes. 

Who last owned it: John and Angie England

Brief history: More than a decade ago, the second Hot Tomatoes location — the restaurant's original location of 26 years, on Water Street in Williamstown, remains open — opened on Tyler Street. It was the winner of Best Pizza honors in The Eagle's 2016 Best in the Berkshires reader poll. The popular take-out spot had been operating on reduced hours since June 2020. “Hot Tomatoes thanks each and every one of you for an awesome 12 years,” read a statement on the Hot Tomatoes Facebook page, posted Sept. 10, 2020. “It is with great sadness and reservations to make this difficult decision to close up shop, but that we must. COVID has made it difficult for staffing reasons to remain open.”

What is there now: Nothing

What we miss: "I am so sad about Hot Tomatoes closing. I worked there my first two years of college. I made the gelato. It was an amazing establishment that felt like family. The best thing was half-price wing Mondays — they had the best wings! Paired with their margarita pizza, it was perfection. I will for sure miss them!

— Delrita M Gilbert, Dalton


Flavours of Malaysia

Chin Lee at Flavours Of Malaysia in Pittsfield.

Name: Flavours of Malaysia

Address: 75 North St., Pittsfield (entrance facing the McKay Street parking garage).

Type of food/atmosphere: Authentic Malaysian and Asian cuisine that was cooked fresh-to-order by co-owner Sabrina Tan in the small kitchen, which you could often see from almost any spot in the restaurant. Chin Tan sat guests and made excellent cocktails. Locals knew to order Sabrina's homemade dumplings as a starter. 

Who last owned it: Chin and Sabrina Tan

Brief history: Flavours of Malaysia opened at the former Econo Lodge on Route 7 in Lenox in 2007, before moving to The Central Block on North Street two years later. The Tans, for a time, also owned and operated the Tavern at the A in Pittsfield. Even before the pandemic, the couple has been active in providing meals for local soup kitchens and supporting local charities. 

What is there now: Empty restaurant. 

What we miss: "I really miss Flavours very much because the chef always created dishes with flavor profiles that were unique to the Berkshires, and she would custom tailor the level of seasoning to how much 'heat' you could tolerate. I will especially miss the Pork Short Rib Rendang along with a cup of her amazing ginger lime hot tea followed by a Wasabi Creme Brûlée."

— Janice Diggens Clark, Pittsfield

“We have celebrated and shared lots of good memories over the years from the news of new babies and marriages to dancing the night away to live bands. ... You supported us in our early days at the Econo Lodge and faithfully followed and supported us to our move to Pittsfield. Flavours became a family and we will miss you!”

— The Tans' Facebook post announcing the restaurant's closing


Portsmitt’s Lakeway Restaurant

Paula Porter takes an order behind the bar at Portsmitt’s Lakeway Restaurant.

Name: PortSmitt's Lakeway Restaurant

Address: 370 Pecks Road, Pittsfield

Type of food/atmosphere: Family-owned bar and restaurant known for its burgers, weeknight specials and for a time, live music every night of the week. Locals gathered here for trivia nights, music bingo and wings.

Who last owned it: Paula Porter

Brief history: Husband and wife Chris “Sonny” Porter and Paula Porter opened the restaurant in 2010. Porter owned John A. Porter Plaza on Pecks Road and the convenience store in the plaza, Johnnie’s Variety. They opened PortSmitt’s Lakeway Restaurant in the same plaza after Sonny had the idea to give the neighborhood its own hangout. In December 2015, Sonny died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack and Paula ran the business by herself for five more years. Paula announced on Facebook that the restaurant’s final night of business would be Halloween, Oct. 31, 2020. “We lived out my husband’s dream,’’ Paula Porter said in a Oct 29, 2020, article about the business closing. “I’ve been trying to do the best I could do. But COVID is scary. A lot of people were afraid to go out. I understand. Early on, I know one of our customers died. … I’m the owner. I’m the manager. I did everything but cook. Waiting tables, busing tables, answering the phone, running food, washing dishes, taking care of the bills. It was seven days a week. I cut back hours, I cut back the menu, I cut back staff.”

What is there now: Empty restaurant.

What we miss: “Ports was like one big family. It was one of my favorite places to play music because everyone always really got into the music and joined in. Paula, her family, and her staff always treated me like one of their own, and I’m really going to miss that. No matter when you went there you saw a familiar face and felt a sense of community." 

— Lindsay Maynard

"When I had a show at PortSmitt's, I always knew it was going to be a great show. It was just one of those places where everyone was like family, and I made many life-long friends there. Back when we were allowed to do hugs and handshakes, a PortSmitt's night was going to be filled with hugs and handshakes. It truly was this large extended family I got to see every couple of weeks."

— Bob Heck, Bob Heck Entertainment


Freddie's Place Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe

Freddie’s Place Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe

Name: Freddie's Place Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe

Address: 117 Fenn St., Pittsfield

Type of food/atmosphere: Downtown Pittsfield breakfast-lunch spot that was popular with North Street employees, police officers and families going to The Common. All food was homemade, cooked by the owner on a flat-top grill just behind the register. The small shop could hold up to 20 dine-in customers, who could often be seen along the Fenn Street window munching on breakfast sandwiches or goulash and bread specials at the window bar seats.

Who last owned it: Fredric Rivelli

Brief history: Long-time Pittsfield resident Fredric Rivelli first opened the small eatery in November 2014. Rivelli, who started working in the restaurant business as a dish-washer when he was 14, worked for years with a catering company, then as a manager at Sears and 25 years at a machine shop. “I’m 63 now, it was bold to go into business when I did, but I did it,” Rivelli said. The owner/full-time cook of the establishment announced he was closing March 17, 2020. “I put my whole life savings into that place, my retirement,” he said. “We were working day-to-day; we have to be open to the pay bills. As soon as [the state announced it was shutting down due to COVID-19] we went to $10 days — I realized we just can’t be doing this.”

What is there now: Rem Roc's Fried Chicken and Soul Food opened in the space for take-out only in December 2020.

What we miss: When asked what he misses the most about his business, Rivelli replied, “the customers. … We just feel bad for our customers … we’d like to thank all our customers. We really don’t know what will happen in the future."


Sweet and Savory on Main

Sweet and Savory on Main

Name: Sweet and Savoury on Main

Address: 56 Main St., Lee

Type of food/atmosphere: Bakery/coffee shop serving breakfast sandwiches and lunch. Cafe-style seating.

Who last owned it: Livia Landry

Brief history: The bakery opened in June of 2019, relocating from its original location on Main Street in Stockbridge across from the Red Lion Inn. The owner had to clean up the space and do repairs as the storefront had been idle since the fall of 2018. The owner closed in August, returning to the state of Florida to get her son ready for school. She planned to return around Labor Day weekend, but eventually closed for good.

Sweet and Savory on Main

Sweet and Savory on Main.

What is there now: A "For Rent" sign was posted on the front door for several weeks in 2020. An "Open Soon" sign is now in the storefront window for a business called "Let's Do Lunch."

What we miss: In an Eagle interview shortly after opening in Lee, Landry said she considered her business a boutique bakery that strives for few leftovers at the end of the day.

"When we make our cookies, we make the dough and use it right away. We make our goods in small batches so they are always fresh," she said.


New England Wraps

New England Wraps

Name: New England Wraps

Address: 62 Main St., Lee

Type of food/atmosphere: Dine-in, with mostly takeout. The menu featured wraps, burgers and salads, open for lunch and early dinner hours.

Who last owned it: Sandeep and Sadhvi Verma

Brief history: Originally opening in 2017 as Chef Express featuring native dishes from the Verma's homeland of India, New England Wraps on Main Street was the Verma's second location. The couple's first New England Wraps at the Premium Outlets in Lee debuted in October of 2018 and remains open.

What is there now: The location remains empty. The Vermas were trying to sell the business before the pandemic hit, saying the Main Street location wasn't profitable. The business remains on the market.

What we miss: The success of the original New England Wraps' offering fresh American fare prompted the major menu shift at the Main Street location.

"People are always looking for healthy, organic food," said Sandeep Verma. "During the summer, most of our produce is local."


Post

The Post Eatery and Bar, which turned into Stone Post, on Railroad Street in Lee

Name: Stone Post

Address: 5 Railroad St., Lee

Type of food/atmosphere: Cottage fare and pub with the feel of a small, city cafe. The menu featured American sandwiches and salads with flare and upscale taste, made from scratch. Items included a marinated grilled chicken sandwich and a hand-packed Vermont pork and beef burger.

Who last owned it: Micah Stone

Brief history: Stone took over Post eatery, renamed it Stone Post, from the family of the Post owner Danielle Dragonetti, who died suddenly in July of 2019. Stone opened in the summer of 2020, before closing in the fall. A "For Rent" sign went up shortly thereafter.

What is there now: The storefront is empty and for rent.

Reporters who contributed to this story: Lindsey Hollenbaugh, Margaret Button, Jennifer Huberdeau, Dick Lindsay, Scott Stafford, Jake Mendel and Heather Bellow

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