Meadows struggles to keep eatery alive

  • The Meadows Golf Course clubhouse restaurant will reopen as Green Acres on Deerfield Street in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • The Meadows Golf Course clubhouse restaurant will reopen as Green Acres on Deerfield Street in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

Staff Writer
Published: 2/21/2019 6:32:28 AM

GREENFIELD — The owner of the Meadows Golf Course hopes to open a retail marijuana shop in the former clubhouse restaurant some day and has a handful of plans for selling off parts of the course itself, but for now he’s focused on getting his restaurant that’s been closed for several months back up and running.

Green Acres, the new name of the restaurant at the closed golf course off Deerfield Street, should be open in March, Constant Poholek told the Greenfield Board of License Commissioners Tuesday.

He came before the board to answer its concern about whether he was adequately using his liquor license.

“So what business are you in?” Chairman Bob Wolanske asked.

Poholek explained to the five-member board he’s still committed to his restaurant and to serving liquor again. His problem has been a variety of code issues including with the Greenfield building and fire departments, setting him back through the winter.

He last came before the board in November when he was granted more time to show he was working toward opening. The board has thep power to revoke the license if it is idle.

There were issues with stairs that had settled and with gas hookups in the kitchen, he noted.

Poholek ran into issues, he said, with the Greenfield Health Department. He was unable to get a health inspector to his establishment in a timely manner. The city has been short-staffed or without health inspectors at all on-and-off for months, but is in the process of hiring a full-time inspector after receiving funding from the City Council in December.

Now the building is in good enough condition to open for business, under the direction of new manager, Wayne Staltare, who sat alongside Poholek at the meeting. The restaurant is suppose to open within the next two weeks. The board said it will check to see if it is open next month and if not, it may need to have further talks or reevaluate the use of the liquor license.

“What about golf?” Wolanske said.

Poholek said there are several potential plans in the works for the course.

He has been in discussions with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game about conservation of some of the land. He said the city also may need some of the land for expansion of its sewage treatment plant.

Poholek added that he may end up turning the longtime golf course into a driving range.

“I don’t know as far as what type of golfing facility it will be in the future, if any,” Poholek said.

With his liquor license expiring at the end of the month, the board decided to give him an extension to the end of the year with hopes that his new restaurant will make better use of the license. But the board remained adamant on his future plans, particularly about a pot shop.

“You’re demonstrating you want to be in another business,” Commissioner Alan Ball said. “I’m a little at odds of what we do here.”

Poholek has not submitted materials to the Cannabis Control Commission, the state body that oversees the marijuana industry, yet.

Getting a cannabis license is a long process, even for those who have planned to be in the business for well over a year. Greenfield’s Patriot Care, which already has been open for business for medical marijuana and by therefore got early consideration for a recreational pot license, is planning to open for adult-use sales in the coming couple weeks.

Poholek said he thinks it’s possible to receive provisional approval from the Cannabis Control Commission this summer.

A marijuana business cannot have a liquor license, and vice-versa. He said he intends to give back the liquor license if he is in line for marijuana, but at the moment it’s all uncertain.

“And that’s the future,” Poholek said. “I don’t know what the future holds.”

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264




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