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New Third Street cafe, bar planned

TURNERS FALLS — A cafe/bar on Third Street may soon join an increasingly full downtown menu, with a liquor license for the establishment beginning the often lengthy approval process this week.

The Montague Board of Selectmen signed off on the state liquor license application at this week’s meeting, beginning the process toward an on-premise beer and wine liquor license — the last one unused in town — for the business, Five Eyed Fox.

Prospective proprietors Ashley Arthur, Aric Binaco and Meredith Merchant appeared before the board Monday, briefly sketching plans for a coffee shop, bar and eatery at 37 Third St.

Binaco said he is a University of Massachusetts graduate and has managed restaurants for the last 10 years. Arthur said she has worked in the restaurant industry for 13 years and has wanted to open a cafe since she was a barista as a teen. Merchant said she has lived in Montague since 2012.

The application had a letter of support from Howard Wein, proprietor of the Alvah Stone restaurant in Montague Center, opened this year in the Montague Book Mill building.

Wein wrote that the three had been key members of his team since opening the restaurant and extraordinarily dedicated.

Downtown business owner John McNamara also spoke in support of the three, saying he had gotten to know them from The Alvah Stone, and their plan would be good for the village. “Where do you go to get an espresso in Turners Falls?” he said.

Third Street is also home to The Rendezvous bar and restaurant and the neighboring Great Falls Harvest restaurant, opened last year.

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