New barbecue spot on Main St. in North Adams? `Capitol' idea, says couple

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NORTH ADAMS — With an eye toward sharing their catered barbecue offerings with a wider audience, Mark Meehan and his wife, Debra Morandi, are bringing a new menu, new look and an old name to Main Street.

The couple bought The Hub restaurant last week, and after serving Solid Sound Festival crowds all weekend, they have closed the restaurant for cleaning and some redecoration. They plan to open Friday as Capitol Restaurant with a new menu and a new staff.

The Capitol was the name of a restaurant in the same space decades ago.

Meehan had been a construction contractor and a caterer under the name My Chef Catering. His catering specialty is barbecue (Kansas City style), but he's always wondered what it would be like to bring his recipes to a full-time restaurant operation, and the new menu reflects that.

"I've always wanted to do this," Meehan told The Eagle. "And I want to bring this place back to the Capitol, where it used to be. Bring it back to comfort food, and also work my barbecue into the mix."

In the opening menu, entrees range from $12.95 to $21.95,with prices for appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and salads ranging from $7.95 to $12.95. Offerings include smoked brisket, BBQ pulled chicken, St. Louis smoked ribs, chicken or eggplant Marsala, along with other appetizer, pasta and seafood dishes. Included in the menu are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.

"Everything is going to be fresh, " Meehan noted. "And our produce will be coming from local farms. I'm cooking all my barbecue from scratch. Nothing frozen around here."

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A full bar is offered as well. He will be operating under the former owner's all-alcohol license until his application is cleared by the state.

On Saturdays and Sundays, Capitol will also serve breakfast.

Meehan and his crew are giving the place a thorough cleaning, then a light redecoration inside — some fresh paint and moving the photos around (he's keeping the old photos of the city, because they're so popular). And once training is done, they should be good to go by 11 a.m. Friday.

With 14 employees, Meehan said, the Capitol Restaurant will be open initially Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday hours will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday hours will be 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The kitchen will shut down an hour before closing.

The back room will become private meeting space with 16 seats and a big a screen to handle presentations. It can also serve as private party space. The dining room seats 75, and there is seating for 16 on the sidewalk outside.

And of course there will be big screens installed in the dining room to feature sporting events — especially football.

"It's going to be Patriot Nation in here," Meehan said. "No doubt about it."

Scott Stafford can be reached at sstafford@berkshireeagle.com or 413-629-4517.


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