Allium, a Great Barrington farm-to-table mecca, to close

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GREAT BARRINGTON — For the patrons of Allium Restaurant + Bar, the next drink might be bittersweet; the next meal — their last.

At least here.

The Railroad Street farm-to-table icon will shut its doors on Jan 1., after a 12-year run as one of downtown's most popular haunts.

Proprietor Nancy Thomas acknowledged the move will devastate the merry band of loyalists who frequently flock to the restaurant.

"After sincere thought and consideration, we've decided to set our sights on new goals," she said in a statement issued Tuesday. "The management team recognizes the popular gathering place Allium has become and wanted to give as much notice as possible."

It appears the space will not stay vacant for long.

"There is definitely a transaction happening," Thomas said of the 80- to 90-seat restaurant, in which the lease might be transferred to a new restaurant owner. But she said she could not disclose further details.

Thomas, who with Bo Peabody co-owns Allium's parent company, Mezze Restaurant Group, said Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown will remain open, as will Mezze Catering + Events.

When it opened in 2007, Allium established itself as one of the area's most fervent advocates for cooking with local and regionally grown food, particularly grown on small family farms. Thomas said her patrons' appreciation for this culinary culture boosted the restaurant's success.

"It has been a true honor working in a community that cares so much about food and where it comes from," she said.

Some care so much they dine here three to five nights per week, said Angela Cardinali, a company spokeswoman.

"It is their home," she added.

It is also a place with a bar that's not too loud to have a conversation.

"It's quiet, and it's a nice place to go and talk," said town Select Board member Ed Abrahams, who also said that when his daughter worked there, she found it a "really great place to work."

Thomas is inviting customers to Allium's Facebook page for information about events in December or to share their thoughts.

And she also hopes people will come for one last meal this month — reservations "appreciated."

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.






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