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The faces and personalities of our downtown community.

Richie’s Beat

A fun walk shadowing former postal carrier Rich Micelotta as he made his rounds on North Pleasant Street.














Joe Habib – Mixologist and Bar Manager at Bistro 63

 Joe holds the mysterious bottle of Sao Joao Da Baria

Joe holds the mysterious bottle of Sao Joao Da Baria

Monkey Bar/Bistro 63

Bartender Joseph Habib

Joe likes the term bartender rather than mixologist because he tends the bar, engages with customers, takes the temperature of moods, and sets the scene. He works in an amazing space with the copious selection of spirits, bitters, tonics and tinctures — some arcane and mysterious. like the bottle of Sao Joao Da Baria – a distinct smokey flavored spirit that is incredibly hard to find.  RJ and Rasif, owners and inventors at Bistro 63 work together with their front of house staff and bar team, as RJ puts it: “in conquest of the mystery of the human palate.”

Joe is now a modern alchemist mixing curious, exciting and memorable drinks using tinctures, bitters, and spirits. He likes tinctures best and recently made chicory and sassafras combinations inspired by a recent trip to New Orleans. Joe also uses local and seasonal, for example a spring drink featured fresh rhubarb tincture.

Joe studied at UMASS Amherst in the Food Science Department and tithe Sustainable Food and Farming Department. He also studied at Johnson & Wales culinary school in Providence RI, but the chemistry and science behind food and taste combinations was more appealing.

He understands the history of the drink and how the first cocktails were derived from home-made tinctures and blends of bitters and herbs for health and digestive well-being, such as the Old Fashioned.

Red Door Salon

 Liana and McKenzie

Liana and McKenzie

Red Door Salon opened it’s doors at 55 South Pleasant Street in October, 2017. The manager and owner Kirsten Barnes has worked in Amherst for 19 years and she and her staff have a dedicated following. The renovations done to the former book shop are remarkable. Kirsten kept floor level stations for those clients not able to climb the stairs. The second floor is beautiful and boasts some of the finest views of the town commons. There is a separate private room used for special event styling and make up.

Red Door Salon Amherst