After an early August managerial shift resulted in a delayed opening, the Purple Pub is slated to welcome its first patrons at 65 Spring St. by this upcoming weekend. Discussions between the owners and the town prior to the opening have covered issues of alcohol serving and education.
The pub, destroyed in a fire three years ago, was initially scheduled to open in time for Commencement Weekend but was delayed after its manager, Molly Ferioli, requested to cede her position to Bryan Segal in light of her pregnancy, a request that was unanimously approved by the Williamstown Board of Selectmen.
During their meeting on August 11, the Selectmen lectured Segal on the responsibility of holding a liquor license, which was transferred from Ferioli to Segal. “Individuals will test new owners, and you need to establish a reputation of being tough,” said Selectwoman Jane Allen. “We gave … a manager, fairly recently, a license for an establishment, and he had experience similar to yours, and in the first week, there was already an incident at the business,” she continued.
The board had previously approved a dual liquor/foodservice license in March. Alluding to March’s proceedings, which initially awarded a liquor license to Ferioli, Allen reminded Segal that new managers of bars in college towns are often unprepared for the singular challenges that these establishments face, citing other inexperienced Williamstown bar managers as precedent.
Both Segal and restaurant owner Thierry Breard stated their experience in TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedure), a program designed to educate restaurant staff on serving alcohol. According to Breard, the 25 staff members of the pub will also undergo training, after which Breard will supplant Segal in day-to-day managerial duties.
No specific date was given regarding the opening of the adjacent Spring Street Pizzeria, which shares its liquor license with the pub. It is still slated to open “sometime this fall,” according to Ferioli.