North Adams Transcript
NORTH ADAMS -- After four years of serving up Peruvian and Argentinean fare at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Cafe Latino will close its doors for good in September.
Owners Nancy Thomas and William "Bo" Peabody confirmed plans to close the restaurant on Tuesday through Mezze Restaurant Group’s spokeswoman Angela Cardinali, who also dispelled rumors that the couple planned to reopen Cafe Latino in the former Jae’s Inn on Cold Spring Road. Thomas and Peabody purchased the six-room inn and restaurant at auction in April for $575,000, saying they had no immediate plans for the space.
"Cafe Latino is scheduled to officially close at MASS MoCA on Sept. 15," Cardinali said in an e-mail to the Transcript. "We have no plans of reopening Cafe Latino in another space in northern Berkshire County at this time. Our official business plan for the former Jae’s Inn in Williamstown is not yet finalized and, therefore not ready to be released to the public."
According to Katherine Myers, Mass MoCA director of marketing, the restaurant group is "exercising an option to end their lease early," which was a provision in the original lease.
"The museum is currently in the process of finding a new tenant for the space," she said. "We certainly intend to have another restaurant on our campus."
Mayor John Barrett III, who also serves as the chairman of the museum’s cultural development commission, said there have been several parties interested in taking over the space this fall.
"The interested parties are lining up, which bodes well for Mass MoCA," he said. "There’s a lot of interest, but I think the hard part is going to be finding a venue that’s the right fit. The restaurant does a lot of catering for the museum, which owns all of the kitchen equipment."
Thomas and Peabody have held a lease for the restaurant space at Mass MoCA since 2001, when their restaurant group opened "Eleven." In 2005, the pair reopened the space as Cafe Latino, saying they had found a niche in the North County market for authentic Latino food that was less Tex-Mex and more Argentinean or Peruvian.
In addition to owning Cafe Latino and the former Jae’s Inn in Williamstown, the restaurant group also owns Mezze and Mezze Catering in Williamstown and Allium in Great Barrington.
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