Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

The Hangar (right), Amherst Brewing Company (left)

UPDATE: Monday morning

So I had a very nice conversation with The Hangar Pub and Grill owner Harold Tramazzo and he said the "hybrid" model -- where he does food service and Amherst Brewing Company maintains liquor service -- was the original plan he approached ABC owner John Korpita with about 6 months ago.

But now it's morphed into a outright sale of Amherst Brewing Company (not yet completed) because Mr. Tramazzo "doesn't want the name Amherst Brewing Company to go away."  At the moment he has "management and financial responsibility."

He also wants it known that if the numbers work there's no reason he can't run two businesses almost directly across the street from each other, as well as the Wings Over Amherst just down the road near Big Y.

He also denies The Hangar Pub and Grill is a college bar (which I don't think I called it) and pointed out that he interacted with lots of older patrons over the weekend.  

Mr. Tramazzo does own buildings that house his food service business in Westfield and Greenfield but has no plans for buying Newmarket Center, which has a  town valuation of $3,145, 300.

The "kids menu" has not disappeared, he just weeded out the offerings that were not working and simply serves smaller portions of regular items still on the menu. 

Lots of details still need to be worked out (including paperwork with the town), so at the moment you can consider the operation in soft opening/launch mode. 


Original Report: 
The super popular chicken wings at The Hangar Pub and Grill will get even more room for distribution -- not to mention parking -- as the formerly competing business has taken over food service at the expansive Amherst Brewing Company just across the street on University Drive.

Although one of my Facebook buddies was not overly happy that they immediately cut the kids menu at ABC, making it a tad less family friendly.

The demographic for The Hangar is younger than ABC, to quote that often heard line in a college town:  "College aged youth."  While the Amherst Brewing Company seemed to attract an older crowd, as well as families.

So it will be interesting to see how this clash of cultures works out.

 Charles Lane, a neighborhood immediately behind ABC

Neighbors who live on Charles Lane immediately behind Newmarket Center probably will not be pleased, since this will undoubtedly increase the potentially nosier demographic to their side of the street.

About 15 years ago the Zoning Board of Appeals denied a Special Permit to H2O, a sports bar that wished to open in the space occupied by ABC, because of the potential for noise and nuisance.

A Gold's Gym opened a couple years later, changed their name to The Leading Edge to save franchise fees and then went belly up for good.

Former members tried to form a co-op and revive the fitness operation at that site, but like most things born of Internet petitions, never managed to break a sweat.


Anonymous said...

why all the awkward sky photos lately? They all look the same. Ground level pics may be better, that is where we often see things from and will likely have more of an impact on the reader.

Anonymous said...

What does that mean when you say taking over food service. Has A gone out of business? Will the hangar also remain in its current location?

Larry Kelley said...

The lead "sky photo" shows from a unique angle the relative close proximity of The Hanger to ABC, and the other one shows in a way impossible from the ground how close Charles Lane neighborhood is to ABC.

I'm hearing that Wings will roll their 55 University Drive location (the one circled in my "sky photo") into ABC but keep the take out one (Wings Over Amherst) down the road next to Big Y.

ABC will continue to make and sell beer at their current location.

Anonymous said...

Will the new place be called the hangar featuring beer by ABC?

Larry Kelley said...

Kind of wordy.

Might also trip regulator action from Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board or Select Board.

Anonymous said...

But is that essentially what is going on?

Fenway617 said...

Larry is the Hanger closing down their current location and moving into ABC? Is ABC going out of business? Or is it just the Hanger will be ABC in-house food vendor with ABC keeping the alcohol sales and status quo at the current Hanger spot?

Larry Kelley said...

No, I don't believe ABC is going out of business. Just out of the food service business.

Yes, I'm hearing The Hangar will close down their location at 55 University Drive (But I hear they still have one year to go on a lease so maybe not close immediately).

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it is that sinister that it will need approvals. It sounds like you have gone to the NIMBY side.

To me, it appears that ABC was dissatisfied with their chef/menu and was able to hire the chef from the Hanger who developed in a new menu. Obviously both the owner of ABC and the Chef are hoping customers like it and therefore revenue, and hopefully profits, increase.

It sounds like a pure business transaction (which, of course, is banned in the PR of Amherst).

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't SelectBoard approval (as licensing authority) be required to physically change the address of the Hangar's Food service permit(s)?

Larry Kelley said...

I'm guessing Board of Health.

Anonymous said...

ABC is staying in business as ABC. They have a new owner, the man that owns the hanger. Yes the Hanger may close eventually because of the hassle of running a business in Amherst. These things are not connected. The Hanger is swooping in to save ABC, and it seems they may have been planning to ditch their Amherst spot anyway. They are a national company at this point. But ABC will remain the same with tweaks to make it more profitable. This is a good thing.
And the Hanger may remain too. This isn't a huge story. ABC just has a new owner, but will remain pretty much as is.

Larry Kelley said...

Maybe not a "huge" story, but it sure is interesting.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, cause this was SO predictable when they left their downtown location and spent a fortune to move to a remote location with outdoor dining in a hot, box overlooking a parking lot.

People were willing to put up with the consistently poor service for a walkable in-town location, but with a drive out of the thanks.

Anonymous said...

And in other news the High Horse Tavern is thriving....

Anonymous said...

ABC attracts a lot of people besides college students & with such a large space that's a good thing. As a family who frequents ABC, I am sad to see them get rid of their kids' menu.

I have also been to UMass & other business events at ABC at this location, & wonder if they will be able to retain those & events such as the jazz nights under their new management. Maybe they don't care about them, but it will be their & the community's loss if so.

Anonymous said...

You're getting so many questions, Larry, because this is a really badly written article. Hard to know who is buying out whom and what your point is, exactly, about the younger clientele of one entity vs. another. Also, there is no mention of what the new business model is likely to be which would, of course, affect the clientele it attracts. Interesting story, as you say, but poorly fleshed out.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually a pretty average number of questions.