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Berkshire Culinary Owners Plan New Tavern in Former Breu-Haus
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
05:44AM / Tuesday, July 09, 2024
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Matthew and Elizabeth Mottor have been operating the restaurant side of the former Shire Breu-Haus for nearly three years. They're in the process of buying out the closed brewery and creating an upscale tavern.

The restaurant in the basement of the Stationery Factory opened in 2017.

The Mottors envision having a pool table and other games where the brewery equipment located now.

Matthew Mottor with his grandmother's 19th century piano. The Mottors are planning more entertainment and games at their new restaurant. 
DALTON, Mass. — Berkshire Culinary Group owners Matthew and Elizabeth Mottor are in the process of purchasing Shire Beer Co., formerly Shire Breu-Hous, to open their own tavern. 
"We want to be a tavern. It's an upscale tavern, and we have stuff to do. We have an awesome piano from the 1800s; it's all tuned and ready to go. We've got a great sound system in here," Matthew said. 
"We're gonna soon have the entertainment side of things. It's not just another bar that you walk into. I think we have a different atmosphere compared to everybody else."
Shire Breu-Hous opened in 2017, revamping the entire basement space of the Stationary Factory into a brewery and restaurant. 
The catering company has been operating out of the brewery since December 2020, when the restaurant side of the business started to struggle due to the pandemic and the owners could not do both. 
The brewery closed in May despite rebranding to Shire Beer Co. in January. Berkshire Culinary Group continues to operate the restaurant and is serving what is left of Shire Beer while the supplies last. Once the supply runs out, Shire Beer will no longer be available. 
In addition, the restaurant now also serves craft and local beers by Hot Plate Brewery in Pittsfield, its first non-Shire beer. Hot Plate Brewery is the first local brewery to sign on, but the Mottors hope to collaborate with more businesses in the area. 
Whether it is more breweries, getting ingredients, such as meat and vegetables from local farms, or providing a space for local businesses to host events, the duo hopes to have a lot of collaboration. 
Both Mottors have deep ties to the area. Elizabeth is from an "old Dalton family," and Matthew is from Hinsdale. 
"This community does mean a lot to both of us. We're raising children here. So, we have a future here as well, and that just means something to us," Elizabeth said. 
The couple wants to showcase the area that they love, not only through collaborating with other businesses and farms but also through the factory building's history. 
Elizabeth said few people know its history.  According to the Stationary Factory's website, in 1889, it was the Dalton Shoe Co. and was repurposed by the Spark Coil Co. in the early 1900s for manufacturing automobile starter coils.
In 1922, Crane purchased the building to use as a stationery factory using paper products from local mills until 2013, when it consolidated its stationery division to its plant on Curran Highway in North Adams. 
In fact, both of Matthew's parents worked in the building at one point. 
"They would go up and down these halls with the carts and everything. So, it's really neat for them now to come and see it as his restaurant," Elizabeth said. 
There is an interest in the area to share this history, she said. 
Elizabeth attended the Historical Commission meeting on Wednesday to get information on the Stationary Factory before it was owned by the Cranes and when it was Dalton Shoe in the hopes of finding inspiration for the new restaurant. 
She hopes something in the history will inspire the new restaurant's name and possibly the decor and future events, depending on what they come up with. 
The restaurant utilizes a piece of their own family — Matthew's grandmother's piano from the 1800s. 
Musicians such as Ben Kohn have performed on the piano at the restaurant. In the beginning of 2023, Berkshire Culinary Group installed a new "state-of-the-art sound system and stage lighting."
The restaurant will have more room once the commercial brewing equipment is removed. 
"As sad as it is that the brewery is not going to be part of it anymore, I think it's a cool space to use," Matthew said.
"From my eyes, looking at it from the business side, that is a space that's not making money."
The Mottos saw this as an opportunity to fill a need that the area is lacking — entertainment and activities.
They hope to divide the space into two, replacing and possibly expanding the brewery room and transforming it into a space filled with pool tables, shuffleboards and arcade games.
The restaurant side will remain the same, aside from cosmetic changes to balance the harshness of the factory feel while keeping it cozy. 
Matthew said he has heard some concerns that they are trying to open a "dive bar." This is not the case, he said, they are trying to create a family-friendly space where people can get together to socialize. 
The new restaurant they have yet to name will continue to serve "upscale brew pub food" similar to what they currently offer, including burgers, tacos, macaroni and cheese, and American cuisine. It will also offer specials to change things up and provide new menu items. 
"It's still going to be tavern food, but it's upscale tavern food. It's not stuff right off the distributor's truck in a frozen box. It's stuff that we're going to put our knives to and prep," Matthew said. 
Elizabeth said she wants to create a comfortable, local feel that is similar to what is portrayed on the American sitcom "Cheers." 
"The vibe I want is the 'Cheers' bar. You walk in, and everybody knows your name. It's the place that our locals come to when they just want to go to dinner. They want to hang out, but it's the place they bring their friends and family that are visiting from out of town, too," she said. 
Matthew and Elizabeth will be implementing their changes to the restaurant gradually but hope to be complete by January. 
The rebranding and subsequent closure of Shire Beer Co. has left residents confused because it had three different names: Berkshire Culinary Group, Shire Breu-Hous, and Shire Beer Co. 
The decor and signage still have Shire Breu-Hous as the restaurant's name but are listed on Google as Shire Beer Co. The Mottos hope that the opening of their new restaurant will alleviate that confusion. 
Residents can find the restaurant's current menu and events on Berkshire Culinary Group's Facebook page until a new page is implemented. 
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