twoflower opens

From left, Maggie Merelle of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, twoflower owners Rupert Jones and Sandy Mathews, state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and Steven Weisz, also of Sotheby’s, mark the opening Friday of the coffee shop in Great Barrington.

GREAT BARRINGTON — Recognizing the significance of a business opening amid the landscape of closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and with scissors in hand, state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, joined Friday in celebrating the debut of twoflower, a coffee shop and cafe on Railroad Street in the former Botanica location.

Owners Rupert Jones and Sandy Mathews were hailed for taking a courageous step amid the pandemic, and that it foretells a robust post-COVID-19 Berkshires.

“Something special is happening here right now,” Pignatelli said of the Berkshires, noting that the county is poised for a strong comeback after it is released from the associated pandemic lockdowns.

Tim Newman, a Southfield-based filmmaker, came to see what had replaced Botanica, which he loved.

“It’s very brave and optimistic about the future,” he said.

Maggie Merelle and Steven Weisz, of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, had helped close the restaurant deal. Merelle, who also owns Rouge in West Stockbridge, said there is “a lot of electricity in the air” and that twoflower is one of the sparks.

And Weisz said this “good energy” portends a post-pandemic Berkshires that is “a lot stronger commercially and in population.”

Heather Bellow can be reached at or 413-329-6871. On Twitter @BE_hbellow.