Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Thursday, March 29, 2007
  Sad Day on Spring Street
Early this morning The Purple Pub, Subway and A Perfect Blend were burned out of their buildings. The fire reportedly started under the floor of A Perfect Blend and spread from there.

Firefighters are still on the scene performing safety and clean up duty as I write this.

Speculation has it that the building containing Subway and Perfect Blend is a total loss, while the owner of the Purple Pub, Mary, told me that the bar area of her business is in decent shape and sits on a separate foundation from the other two restaurants. But there are structural issues related to the wall shared by the businesses and nobody has made any proclamations about the future as of now.

The buildings are owned by David Paresky who has been in the news lately because his large donation to Williams College to build a new student center in his name. (He also is a benefactor of the local Temple where his parents' names are prominently etched.) In a tragic coincidence, approximately a decade ago, another one of Paresky's buildings burned on Spring Street when a blaze broke out in the long-gone Cobble Cafe. A new building housing the Sushi Thai Garden and Spice Root now occupies the spot.

(Full disclosure: David Paresky is the landlord of my employer.)

I spoke with all the business owners this morning and made coffee for the fire department. A Perfect Blend has only been open since last fall. The owner, Ron, had sunk thousands of hours of his own time and even more of his money into the space trying to create a nice place for students to hang out, drink coffee and get a bite to eat. Recently he began serving breakfast and appeared to have cornered that market on the street. He posted a sign on his door last week when Williams went on Spring Break saying he would be closed for renovations. He had not reopened as of the fire.

The extraordinarily hard working couple who owns Subway only discovered the results of the fire when they showed up for work this morning. The fire department called the landlord's office, but nobody called the business owners. The couple (whose names escapes me. Jay(?) and ???) stood outside waiting for their employees to show up and collect paychecks.

Jay gave me the quote of the day: "At least now I'll get a day off."


The Pub's crew was trying to make the best of it. Mary, Liz and Jason were wandering the street chatting and looking a little shell shocked. Channel 11 showed up and interviewed Mary.

I am sure that I represent all in the community in wishing the people involved a speedy recovery economically and emotionally. Which brings me to the only bright note of the whole mess - at least nobody was injured.
do you have the email for David Pareski.
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