Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Saturday, March 08, 2008
As I have noted in the update below, Steeples was NOT raided by the FBI, nor was the owner arrested. However, as The Transcript has confirmed, the state Attorney General's office has been in town investigating the deals surrounding various investment properties.

What I do know from personal sources is that at least some of Steeples employees were being paid in cash because there was no money in the bank account. More than a couple food suppliers had long ago cut off selling to Steeples because of unpaid bills. And no knowing business in town would even think about taking their checks.

There is also a well sourced report that Steeples, either as part of the lease agreement or in lieu of rent, signed over the equipment within the restaurant to the Holiday Inn. If true, this is best news in the whole scenario. It will allow the Holiday Inn to simply unlock the doors and reopen quickly. Rumor has it that the management of the Holiday Inn became weary of Steeples viability and has contingency plans in place for food, etc...

The death of Sanford Plumb last month will certainly complicate things, but for the Borers to be blaming their problems on the current managerial team at the Holiday Inn is an absolute joke. I have it from a very reliable source the Mr. Plumb had, himself, begun arranging contingency plans for the restaurant before his death. Obviously he had doubts about the Borers' viability.

And in the spirit of full disclosure, it is true that I had informally inquired about purchasing Steeples last year when the deal between Ed Bassi and the Borers was being delayed from closing. But the deal did close and my interest never went any further. For the record, I am VERY happy at my current employer, Wild Oats Community Market. We've just started selling hot food for lunch and dinner. Come check us out.

UPDATE: If rumor is correct, the Holiday Inn should have a restaurant up in and running in a month or so.
I think the local papers should research back to when the announcements for new businesses are made and reprint the bold statements that printed about said businesses. Seems to me the transcript was falling all over this person when they attempted to open the restaurant. And wasn't that true of the landlord who took off leaving the banks holding the bag? And the Kmart plaza?

And now we have "The Hub" - when are people going to learn that there are too many restaurants for any one to be successful; and Lowe's - same story different sector, and the biscuit factory - cash cow for the residents.
The parallel between restaurants and Lowes doesn't compute with me. Most of the recent closures in the area were due to bad management decisions or extenuating circumstances. For every high profile restaurant that closed, I'll show you new one that is doing fine.

It's a very tough, cash intensive business with little room for expensive mistakes. You know that. You worked in a few over the years.

I say welcome the new joints if they are sincere and let the chips fall where they may.
My point was that these people come in with these grand but foolish plans and no one questions a thing. Then a year later they leave the city high and dry and many people out of work or home.

"The Hub" is coming in trying to force the allusion that they are the place to meet and great in NA. That's not something you force, it has to be earned. They are also making the classic mistake of trying to be all things to all people with the menu selection - isn't going to work.

Furthermore I get the distinct impression they feel their loyal customers from the "The Pub" will follow them from Williamstown to NA - I'll believe it when I see it.

This is no slam on the couple or their restaurant abilities, just a comment on what I think is a huge marketing mistake.
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