The faces and personalities of our downtown community.
A fun walk shadowing Rich Micelotta as he makes a part of his rounds on North Pleasant Street.
The Amherst Inn
Winner of 2017 Best B&B in Massachusetts by Yankee Magazine's Best of New England Guide and 2015 winner of Best in New England. Ann King and Alan Zieminski have transformed this historic home into a beautiful place to stay. They have always paid employees a decent living wage acknowledging and valuing their role in making guests' experiences exceptional.
Kunga Gyaltsen of Himalaya Friend's Corner
This restaurant opened in the fall of 2016 offering traditional dishes from Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Co-owner Kunga Gyaltsen is from Tibet and strives to carry authentic, organic spices and ingredients from the Himalayan region. He has introduced vegan dishes and offers organic yak meat, high in Omega 3 oil to the menu. The setting is restorative and Kunga cooks each dish to order with the freshest ingredients, nothing is pre-packaged. HImalayan Superfoods like millet and Bhutanese red rice or dhan. Excellent Tibetan bone broth soups and fusion style curries, chow meins, and friend rice make the menu diverse but accessible.
Laughing Dog Bicycles
Mark Wootton and Nat Herold
The Chopping Block
A.J. Hastings, Inc.
The Staff at Hastings
Joe Habib – Mixologist and Bar Manager at Bistro 63
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.