Owners of Riff’s Joint in Easthampton buy former Kali B’s Wings and Things in Turners Falls

Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2015
TURNERS FALLS — Kali B’s Wings and Things will reopen next month with new owners and a new name.

The pub at 166 Avenue A was purchased by the owners of Riff’s Joint in Easthampton, who took over the building last week. The new restaurant will be called Riff’s North, according to co-owner Richard Lyman, who said the eatery will be shut for about a month while renovations are completed.

“We are actually enlarging the bar area, putting in new some new kitchen equipment, just a basic overhaul — painting, redecorating, things of that nature,” he said. “We’re hoping to open the first part of January.”

Riff’s North will feature a menu similar to the Easthampton restaurant, including a variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads and a full bar. Lyman said the new restaurant will also offer the chicken and boneless wings Kali B’s was known for, as well as its popular selection of hot dogs.

“Everything we do is fresh, made from scratch. We don’t use any premade items,” he said, adding, “We’re doing a little bit of a tweak to the menu just to keep the cost point where we feel it needs to be for that area.”

He said Riff’s North will keep any Kali B’s employees who want to stay and add staff from there. He said the new restaurant will hire a manager at some point, but for now Lyman and Riff’s two other co-owners, Jeff Cahill and Michael McCarthy, will be doing the opening.

Lyman grew up in Erving and said Turners Falls has a similar demographic to Easthampton, making it a promising location for the restaurant, which was looking to expand.

“We’re looking forward and we’re very excited about coming to the area and we think it will be a great fit for the people there,” Lyman said.

Kali B’s began as a food cart in front of Stop & Shop in Greenfield in June 2013 and opened its Turners Falls location the following February. Lyman said Riff’s has also purchased the food cart, but the owners have not determined what they will do with it.

Lyman broke into the business with Myer’s Catering, which he started in 1987 and still runs today. He also owned a restaurant in Northampton in the late 1980s and 1990s, and when that closed, he continued his catering business. Six years ago, he opened Riff’s Joint. Both the restaurant and catering business are in the Eastworks building at 116 Pleasant St. in Easthampton.

“We decided to open a restaurant in Easthampton where we live because we needed some good food in the area, and we’ve just grown from there,” he said.

He added that he and Cahill live in the Easthampton area while McCarthy lives in the Greenfield area.