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'Bei Tempi' Wants to Bring Good Times to Pittsfield's West Side
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
12:16PM / Sunday, June 30, 2024
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The former Crossroads Cafe has new owners and name, Bei Tempi. Elizabeth and Richard Zucco say the focus will be on food but they will have live entertainment on Saturdays.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Owners of the former Crossroads Cafe want to bring "Bei Tempi" to the West Side with a new restaurant.

"The new name is Bei Tempi, which means ‘good times' in Italian," Elizabeth Zucco told the Licensing Board on Monday. "Bring a little Italian to the West Side."

The Onota Street establishment was granted an annual weekday entertainment license owners Elizabeth and Richard Zucco reported that food will be returned. The interior will also see some changes to be more suitable for dining.

"We're going to be bringing back the food that was there for many years," she said.

"So there's going to be continual food and we just want to be able to offer some live entertainment, mostly on Saturday, and then, of course, the pool table, which has always been there."

Bei Tempi planned to open its doors last month but wanted to wait until it had all the licensure.

Last year, the board approved a change of stock interest for Crossroads Cafe and an application from Zuke's Soups and Variety LLC, doing business as Bei Tempi, for the transfer of license, pledge of inventory, and pledge of license from C.T. Colvin Inc. doing business as Crossroads Cafe.

Crossroads had been open for more than 20 years and was a popular place for live music.

The new owners checked all of the boxes for possible entertainment on the application, as they are keeping options open for live music events and karaoke.

"Bands that were previously playing there are contacting us and saying, 'Are you going to bring back the music?' So we are really hoping to entertain that," Zucco said.

"But we're going to take it slow. Our main focus is the food and the rest."

Chair Thomas Campoli commented that Crossroads "had a long run certainly." Zucco said there was years of fun and "we're hoping for all good times."

Neighbor Paul Stepasiuk pointed to the recent road and sidewalk work that the city did on the intersection to make it safer, calling the enlarged sidewalk a "built-in dance floor in front of the building."  He said he could always tell when there was entertainment because there were empty nip bottles, condoms, and hypodermic needles on his street from overflow parking.

"I don't mind parked cars in front of my house but what I do mind is while the entertainment is going on, people coming to their cars with other people, leaving 10 minutes later, and then coming back 30 minutes later," he said.

"I don't know what they're doing but I could probably tell by looking at the debris around the cars the next morning what was happening at that time."

Stepasiuk also pointed to past gun violence around the cafe, saying, "We welcome the business in the community, we do not welcome what may come with this entertainment license at this time."  The resident said he, along with other neighbors, would like to see the new owners prove themselves as good citizens before getting an entertainment license.

The new owners clarified that this is not their first rodeo and will focus on food. Zucco also said she would be on top of the litter.

"I saw no problem with taking over that company and continuing with that. We held off on opening, we could have been two weeks ago with our liquor and our approval of occupancy," she said.

"And as far as the parking lot goes, people come, we do plan on having door attendees anytime there's entertainment, there's going to be no in and out, everything regulated and overseen as it should be when you have a crowd. We plan on taking those precautions very seriously. I do appreciate the feedback from the neighborhood."

Campoli pointed out that if "all hell breaks loose" at the establishment, he can come forward, "So it is not the end of the line here, it's just the beginning."

"I think that's what we normally do," board member Kathy Amuso said. "You have the opportunity to open your business and the opportunity when you open to have entertainment with specific hours."

Zucco pointed out that the new curb, which is not a dance floor, gives pedestrians more space on the sidewalk before crossing the road and slows down traffic.

"You're correct in that the flow of traffic has dramatically changed in the last two weeks," Stepasiuk agreed.

"For anybody who is driving through that intersection, it's a totally new experience in terms of where the traffic flows now, in terms of what to expect, in terms of safety, and what have you."

The board also approved a change of manager and a change of the annual all-alcohol seven-day license from Mario, Dolores, and Paul Capitano for East Side Cafe to the next generation of family ownership.

Marco Allessio will be the new proprietor of the nearly 100-year-old restaurant.

"It's basically the passing of the baton, if you will, from one generation of the Capitano family to another member," attorney Ken Ferris said.

Allessio's corporation is buying the assets of the business and he and his mother, Lori Allessio, will run it. Her parents and brother currently own the restaurant and she has grown up working at the Newell Street spot.

Campoli said it's a wonderful place.

"The pizza is awesome. It's a matter of taste, obviously," he said, with Ferris adding that it speaks for itself.

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