Amherst’s Oriental Flavor restaurant expanding next door

  • Oriental Flavor, a Chinese restaurant located at  25 South Pleasant St., Amherst. GOOGLE MAPS

Staff Writer
Thursday, January 03, 2019

AMHERST — A prominent commercial spot in downtown Amherst, vacant for much of the past decade, will become part of an expanded Oriental Flavor restaurant.

The 27 South Pleasant St. site, which was briefly open as Metacomet Cafe in 2015, will be incorporated into the Chinese restaurant, property owner Richard Michelson said.

Oriental Flavor opened in July 2013 at 25 South Pleasant St. as part of the Merchants Row section of the street.

Amherst Business Improvement District Executive Director Sarah la Cour said the changes to the storefronts is a good sign for the downtown economy.

“I’m thrilled that both spaces will now have activity, which always helps the streetscape vitality,” la Cour said.

In 2012, Metacomet Cafe’s owners, brothers Spencer and Trevor Hopton, took over the restaurant space from Chez Albert, which had moved to a building in the northern part of downtown. But even with a prominent old-fashioned sign protruding from the building, which drew plaudits from town officials, the business was only open for business for a few weeks beginning in June 2015.

Since last fall, a sign has been taped in the windows advertising the site for a sublease.

Meanwhile, the new Italian restaurant Porta, which will have brick oven pizzas and other entrees on its menu, is set to open for business by mid-January at the former Bertucci’s site at 51 East Pleasant St.

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