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Greenfield Grille for sale

Will cut back to banquets, dinners Wednesdays through Saturdays

Tim Caplice, Stephanie Sumner, Natasha Perry and owner Joe Poirier at bar at The Greenfield Grille.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Tim Caplice, Stephanie Sumner, Natasha Perry and owner Joe Poirier at bar at The Greenfield Grille. Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Grille, which opened five years ago in the spot held for decades by the landmark Famous Bill’s Restaurant, is up for sale and will decrease its hours, its owner announced Wednesday.

Joseph Poirier, 69, said he’ll be spending more time in a house he owns in Mexico and that the restaurant needs someone who can give it hands-on attention.

During the transition, the restaurant will only be open for dinners and banquets. Beginning next week, its hours will change to 4 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday.

“I’d love to see a family come in and take this place over,” said Poirier, who said he’s already in discussions with three interested parties. “That’s what the Grille and Famous Bill’s has always been.”

Poirier’s restaurant experience began on Dec. 1, 2008, when he walked into a foreclosure auction at Famous Bill’s.

Poirier, the former president of Greenfield Savings Bank, and Paul Cheng, a local restaurant owner, entered the auction as curious spectators and left as co-owners. They purchased the 8,430-square-foot building, its liquor license and furnishings on a whim for about $280,000.

“I was never a dishwasher, a bartender, a cook, a waiter in my entire life ... and I don’t cook well,” said Poirier. “I tell my friends that I went back to college when I bought this place and I started off as a freshman.”

In the six months after he purchased the restaurant, the kitchen was completely rebuilt, the building’s wiring system updated and bar area expanded. Poirier said business has been steady over the past five years and he’s developed a core group of employees whom he hopes the next owner will consider keeping on.

The main restaurant seats about 130 people and the function room can accommodate another 130 for a plated dinner or a couple hundred for an event where people aren’t sitting at tables. Musicians especially love the function hall because of the room’s acoustics, said Poirier.

The Grille’s menu offers similar food to what Bill’s had served: traditional American fare. Poirier, who frequently eats meals there with his wife, said he loves and will miss his restaurant’s burgers and seafood offerings.

Poirier, who hopes to find a new operator by the end of June, called this a “vibrant and exciting time in downtown Greenfield.

“The last few years have seen a huge growth in the local arts and music scene ... and Main Street itself is changing right before our eyes,” he said. “The Grille should continue to be a part of this ongoing renaissance.”

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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