Purple Pub will return to Spring St.


WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Purple Pub is returning to Spring Street, and with it, a pizzeria and a sandwich shop.

Local developer and property owner Mark Paresky announced Thursday the pub will reopen under new management at 65 Spring St., in the new addition to the former Hopkins Furniture building, which is at 61-65 Spring St.

Adjacent to the pub will be Spring Street Pizza, and across the street in another building owned by Paresky at 60 Spring St., will be That's a Wrap.

"These three new restaurants bring diversity in the food offerings on Spring Street, and make it a great destination no matter what type of food you like. Spring Street now has Thai, Indian, American, sushi, pizza, healthy gourmet sandwiches, soups, and of course, ice cream," Paresky said Thursday in an e-mail.

The Purple Pub and Spring Street Pizza will join Nature's Closet, Barr and Barr Builders Inc., and Overland, which already occupy the recently renovated and altered building at 61-65 Spring St.

"It's great news for the community," Selectmen Chairman Tom Costley said Thursday. "It's great for the three businesses, existing business and future business."

The Purple Pub's reopening has generated excitement throughout Williamstown and Williams College.

"I think there will be lots of happy people. It was a very popular spot. I think Williams alumni particularly will be very happy to see it's back," Selectwoman Jane B. Allen said Thursday.

The Pub was one of three businesses at 47-53 Spring St. destroyed by fire in March 2007. At the time, the popular gathering spot and watering hole -- especially for Williams College students -- was owned by Mary Michel.

The excitement around the Pub's reopening has even spread to its new owner and chef, Thierry Breard.

Breard said Thursday he is becoming increasingly excited about the venture as he has learned more about The Purple Pub's place in the town's culture and history.

"I think because it's such a local institution, it's exciting for my partner and I to bring it back to where it was. So many people are excited, that I have become more excited," he said.

Breard said he plans to have the Pub open for the summer, and it will have a pub menu with a twist.

"We'll have dishes like fish and chips with a couple of different fishes instead of one, and shellfish; maybe add a little spice to it," he said.

In addition, Breard has a homemade barbecue sandwich he is eager to included on the menu.

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The Pub will have a bar, a small area for dining room seating, and seating outdoors.

"I'm hoping this will be a place for everybody from the people shopping at the local stores wanting lunch to business people who have offices in town to college students. What I like about this town is it has such an eclectic population," he said.

Besides the Pub, Breard will take on ownership of Spring Street Pizza.

He said the pizzeria will be a place where people can buy pizza by the slice and salads.

"I hope it will attract everyone. I think it will be good for the college students where they can have a slice of pizza very quick at a very good price," he said.

Breard plans to have the pizzeria open before The Purple Pub.

Another business planning to move into 61-65 Spring St. in March is VoodooVox, a venture-funded media company currently located at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams.

That's a Wrap, which has locations in Pittsfield and Dalton, has been trying for the past year to find a place in Williamstown, and the space formerly filled by Helen's Place has proven to be the spot owner Jason Boucher was looking for.

"Mark [Paresky] and I have been working together for six to eight months on what best suits our budget, and what we were looking for. We wanted a space on Spring Street," Boucher said. "Helen [Aitken] decided to retire, and Mark thought that would be a great space for us."

Boucher, who has partnered with John LeVardi, owner of Krispy Cones in Lanesborough, to run the Williamstown eatery, said they hope to have the restaurant open by the middle of March as well as a catering division similar to the one in Pittsfield.

"In comparison to our store in Pittsfield, the Williamstown store will have seats for about 35 people -- we'll offer table service there where we don't in the Pittsfield store," he said.

He said the menu will feature healthy gourmet sandwiches and salads made fresh.

Judy Giamborino, executive director of the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday the Chamber is excited 61-65 Spring St. has finally come to fruition.

"The middle of the street was a dead area, and now there is something there for people to go to. Things can only get better," she said.

To reach Meghan Foley, e-mail mfoley@thetranscript.com.


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