Rafters Restaurant & Sports Bar 422 Amity Street
The success of the 25th Extravaganja, that necessitated they move from Amherst Town Common to the sprawling 3 County Fair grounds in Northampton to accommodate a crowd of 12,000, underscores the popularity of pot.
As if we needed any more examples:
Amherst just received a 4th proposal to locate a medical marijuana facility in town and it too is on (the corner of) University Drive where two others are already proposed. Anyone who has lived in town for more than a month will recognize the address.
Rafters has been a mainstay of the responsible sports bar scene in Amherst for 25 years, catering to students/faculty, blue collar workers and families ... all with equal aplomb.
They sponsor sports teams, the Rafters College Towne Classik road race to raise money for the Jimmy Fund and Amherst Police Relief Association.
And for many years they hosted the St. Baldrick's head-shaving event to raise money for researching a cure for children's cancer.
Plus they employ dozens of workers who live and spend their paychecks in our local community. The quintessential mom-and-pop owned by long time restaurateur Jerry Jolly, who also managed The Pub over 40 years ago and an original founder of the Amherst Business Improvement District.
Unfortunately he owns the business, but not the building. With a selling price of $2 million -- more than twice its assessed value -- an offer impossible to match I would imagine, even if he did have a 1st right of refusal clause in his lease.
The new owners are betting an awful lot of money they will acquire a state RMD license, especially since they need Select Board approval via a Letter of Support/Non Opposition.
Since the Select Board has already issued three of them they could very well say, "No, enough."
University Drive: Pot alley?