Fahri Karakaya, owner of the new restaurant/café The Local, hopes to add something new and exciting to the town of North Adams.
Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Karakaya has been just about everywhere, gaining experience in the field of restaurant management.
He received his hotel and restaurant management degree at Cesar Ritz College in Connnecticut, and worked at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla.
Earlier this year Karakaya’s wife was offered a job in Williamstown at the Porches Inn. When she accepted the position, the whole family moved to the Berkshires.
As Karakaya wandered around the town of North Adams, the empty space that was once Petrino’s on Main Street caught his eye.
“I realized there were a lot of pizza spots, but the area lacked café oriented places,” he said.
Karakaya explained that he explored a concept that resembles the Panera Bread restaurants, with a similar menu.
The Local has a variety of options for customers including coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“It’s a place for all ages,” explained Karakaya, who has a five year old daughter Ece Lina. “We have a kid’s corner in the back of the restaurant.”
“I tried to create a relaxed atmosphere,” Karakaya said. “We have art on the walls provided by local artists. My wife approached NAACO Gallery and they allowed us to use their pieces.”
Working with the students of the College, as well as the North Adams community, is one of Karakaya’s main goals.
“We will start taking Blazer Bucks here, next school year,” he said. Karakaya encourages students with ideas for the restaurant to talk to him.
Currently, The Local is hiring. Karakaya said anyone with kitchen experience should apply for a position.
by Holly Johnston