Miss Adams is back. And town chief couldn't be happier

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ADAMS — The former Miss Adams Diner has a new owner — a man who's been missing her.

"You always get that craving for something that's not available," said Peter Oleskiewicz, a North Adams restaurant owner and City Council member.

That includes shepherd's pie, he said, and other diner fare.

Oleskiewicz paid $100,000 on Aug. 31 for the property, according to land records. The seller was Richard J. Solomon Jr., who had operated Izzy's at the 53 Park St. location for a few years.

Town Administrator Jay R. Green briefed members of the Select Board on the sale during their recent meeting. "We're happy to welcome him," he said of Oleskiewicz.

The property had been vacant for some time. Oleskiewicz, 52, said he plans to open in mid-October.

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Though restaurants at 53 Park St. have gone by many names over the years — including Pier 53 and Captain's Table — Oleskiewicz plans to again call it the Miss Adams Diner, filling what he feels is a gap in northern Berkshire County for diner fare. "I want to stick to the theme of what it was originally," he said.

The 1949 building is one of the few remaining structures created by the Worcester Lunch Car Co., which constructed food wagons, originally drawn by horses, and then diners, operating from 1906 to 1957. Even when shuttered, the property, known as Worcester Lunch Car #82, drew interest from diner fans. The eatery had been included in a 2011 book, "Classic Diners of Massachusetts," by Larry Cultrera.

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When it closed in 2013, the Miss Adams Diner, then run by Philomene and Ric Belair, had been ranked locally as the county's "best diner."

Oleskiewicz said he has hired a commercial cleaner to go through the building, which can seat around 50 but will be redesigned to allow for social distancing among customers, reducing its capacity to around 30.

The property sold with a grill, but the new owner says he's ordered up new fryolators and other gear, as he works to restore utility services and hire a crew.

Oleskiewicz plans to operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will fill some of the diner's staffing needs with employees from Desperados, his North Adams restaurant. That Eagle Street eatery opens at 4 p.m.

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When asked how he'll balance a longer work day with his council duties, Oleskiewicz said some of his subcommittee work happens on a day when Desperados is closed. "I find the time to do what I am expected to do," he said.

Solomon, the former owner, paid $155,000 for the property in 2013. The prior owner, Jennifer Segala, purchased it at auction in 2009 for $95,000, not including back taxes that had to be cleared. The business had been operated from 2010 to 2013 by the Belairs. According to earlier coverage in The Eagle, the couple had hoped to buy the property but were unable to get financing.

Oleskiewicz has long been an admirer of the diner — and felt it still had potential.

"To me, the price point is fantastic," he said. "It's such a cool, funky little thing."

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-588-8341.


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