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Jake’s to open in North Amherst’s Trolley Barn

  • The Trolley Barn, where the owners of Jake’s will be opening a second location this summer. —Scott Merzbach



Staff Writer
Sunday, May 20, 2018

AMHERST — A restaurant that has been a breakfast and lunch institution in Northampton for 40 years, with a menu featuring over 50 kinds of hash, will open a second location in Amherst.

Jake’s owners Alexander Washut and Christopher Ware on Wednesday agreed to an arrangement that will bring their business to the Trolley Barn building in the Mill District of North Amherst this summer.

“We’re really excited about this,” Washut said. “The location is interesting and it’s a market that we don’t really tap into, Amherst and UMass.”

Washut said “Jake’s 2.0” will be a carbon copy of the restaurant he and Ware have run since November 2011, when they took over the establishment located in the Calvin Theatre building.

Jake’s has a menu featuring comfort food from hash to eggs benedict. This won’t change at the Amherst location, at least initially.

“Our core value is good, honest food, great service and a comfortable environment,” Washut said.

Washut said the hope is customers will have the same experience at both locations. In Amherst, though, rather than being in a 130-year-old building, the restaurant will be in a building just a few years old.

Jake’s will replace Bread and Butter, which closed over the winter. Washut said there is minor work to do in the building, but that the kitchen equipment is ready to go.

Also on the first floor of the Trolley Barn is The Lift Salon, with apartments upstairs. Nearby is the North Amherst location of Atkins Farms Country Market, and what will be under construction by summer is the North Square mixed-use project.

“We were interested in getting in on the ground level,” Washut said. “North Amherst is up and coming.”

The August opening, he added, will give the business a chance to work out any kinks before students return for the fall semester.

W.D. Cowls President Cinda Jones, who owns the Trolley Barn and is developing the Mill District, said she is excited about the second site of Jake’s, noting that property manager Pat Kamins finalized the deal after extensive discussion with its owners.

Jones said she gave Washut and Ware a rusty old 52-inch sawblade from Cowls’ former sawmill that she hopes can be incorporated into the sign.

Washut said once settled in, he and his business partner may experiment with the menu, noting that he can incorporate his experience from being based in New Orleans for a time.

“We’re really excited to try out a second location,” Washut said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.