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Thistle and Mirth Owners Open Third Downtown Eatery
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:49AM / Monday, August 08, 2022
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The menu is written on chalkboard behind the counter at Lulu's.

Co-owner Austin Oliver says featuring bagels at Lulu's Tiny Grocery was a good initial draw to breakfast and lunch spot.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The owners of Thistle and Mirth recently opened their third downtown eatery: Lulu's Tiny Grocery.

The breakfast and lunch spot, located inside Crawford Square at 137 North Street, offers coffee and tea, bagels, sandwiches, pastries, and more. It opened in late May and has been well received by old and new customers.

Joad Bowman and Austin Oliver had been utilizing the space as a commissary for Thistle and Mirth and Flat Burger Society since the beginning of the year before opening Lulu's. They saw a need for a bagel spot in that block after the popular Bagels Too closed in 2017.

"I moved here like two months before Bagels Too closed," Oliver explained. "There's never been a bagel place since I've been here, so I figured that was a good initial draw people in."

The mission is to be an "approachable, good, sometimes creative, sometimes indulgent" breakfast and lunch option on North Street, he said.

The menu includes both staples and rotating items.  

Bagels are imported from a Brooklyn bakery in flavors such as onion, jalapeno, and cinnamon raisin.  The signature Lulu's Bagel has cream cheese, egg, tomato, and onion on it.

Items such as watermelon and tomato salad, a Penny's peppered pork sandwich, and a chicken bacon ranch wrap have been featured in the "Today's Lunch" section.  The meats are all fresh, as opposed to processed deli meats.

All of the pastries are made in-house and Oliver reported that the chocolate chip cookies have been a big hit.

"I get here really early in the morning and in my tired stupor I just start coming up with things," he said.

Coffee and espresso drinks from Barrington Coffee Roasting Co. and soft drinks are available to accompany the food. The eatery doesn't carry Coca-Cola products so as to introduce customers to new products.

Braise Worthy, which makes locally sourced frozen meals, and Red Apple Butchers were prior tenants in the space.

It has been a busy year for the co-owners, reopening Thistle and Mirth as a ramen restaurant in spring 2021 and opening Flat Burger Society, a burger joint and performance venue, in the former Flavors of Malaysia a few months after.

The spacious kitchen at Lulu's is utilized as a commissary kitchen for both of the other eateries due to the small nature of their kitchens.  

Flat Burger uses beef from local, whole cows that are butchered in-house. It has also become a popular place for people looking to be entertained, offering regular live music, comedy, and trivia.

Oliver said having all three restaurants is working out well. They are located within a couple of blocks of each other.

Lulu's Tiny Grocery is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. All three restaurants can be found on Instagram and Facebook.

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