Trail House Kitchen and Bar: New concept from restaurateur veterans

NORTH ADAMS — As new developments in the Northern Berkshires make national headlines and travel best-of lists, a new restaurant in North Adams' west end has quietly packed its parking lot since opening in late spring.

The Trail House Kitchen and Bar — right on Route 2, nestled in front of Stop and Shop — is the project of well-known sibling restaurateur team Colleen and Sean Taylor, of Freight Yard Pub fame. With a lighter menu and more options for those on special diets, it's a departure from Freight Yard's traditional pub fare — but you'll still find some of those traditional favorites on the Trail House menu.

If you're heading to the Trail House for a burger and fries or a steak, you won't be disappointed — but Colleen Taylor, who observes dietary restrictions herself, wanted to provide multiple options for those who don't eat things like meat, gluten or soy. "There are a lot of people that are vegetarians, vegans, or have food sensitivities. Making the menu, I worked really hard to accommodate that ... if you're a party of six, one person is going to have that need."

So alongside burgers, chicken cordon bleu and pulled pork, you'll find vegan stuffed peppers, tuna carpaccio, and ricotta toast (with a gluten-free option, of course). "Overall, it's a healthier menu," with more salad options and seafood, says Taylor.

Joining the kitchen team at Trail House are Derek Gerry, Taylor's second-in-command at Freight Yard, and former Hobson's Choice owner/chef Dan Campbell. "When he made the decision to close (Hobson's), I reached out to him," Taylor says. "We sat down and chit chatted, and within a half-hour we knew it'd be a good match up."

Some updates to the building — walls opened up, new noise buffers and improved air conditioning — add some newness to a space that's hosted a few other restaurants before this one. The team behind Trail House chose the space after looking at several others in the area — the property's slate patio, perfect for lingering summer meals, clinched it, plus an option to buy the building. "The space is very charming, with the outdoor atmosphere, and it had some really good bones to work with," Taylor says.

Trail House has been open only a few short months, and summer's full swing has only just begun. It's a good time to have a spot in the west end, with Tourists, a new boutique hotel, opening across the street, and an old mill, Greylock Works, a stone's throw away being reborn as event space. Taylor, who is on the board of 1Berkshire Alliance, knows this well. Expansions at The Clark Art Institute and Mass MoCA in recent years have fueled a need for more overnight options — "that's why we're seeing a lot of these new hotels and motels pop up."

"Tourism is changing," Taylor says. "It's not just a one-day drive out to the Berkshires. There's more to offer here — the hotel-building is a response to that demand. And bravo to the hotels for really making this push."

With two restaurants and a catering business, Taylor is splitting her time between both properties, which has been challenging, she says, but workable. She and Sean grew up in Connecticut, working in restaurants together. "I know what he's going to do, he knows what I'm going to do. I know his strengths, he knows mine and it seems to work out really well."

"Sean and I are at a stage in our life where this is very comfortable for us," she says. "I think this is where we're going to be happiest."

Try it for yourself

What: Trail House Kitchen and Bar

Where: 896 State Road, North Adams

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday

Information: 413-412-1090


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