Posted by Deirdre Oakley, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – when I was growing up in Williamstown everybody went to B&L Service Station at the bottom of Spring Street to get their car fueled and serviced. The beloved Station, opened in 1967, was run by Arthur Lafave and his father-in-law, Alvin Brassard.
In 2000, Lafave sold the station to Williams College Alum Herbert Allen who then donated the property to the College. Four years later the B&L Building was opened as a mixed-used space where you could get a different kind of fuel: Coffee.
Like the B&L Service Station, Tunnel City Coffee isn’t just any fueling station. For people who grew up in Williamstown, a visit to the Tunnel is like a reunion because inevitably you’ll run into someone you know, because everybody frequents the place. Sometimes it’s like a time warp: bumping into your parents’ friends, your friends’ kids, high school teachers, and post-college roommates from New York City all in the same visit. I don’t know if Arthur Lafave gets his coffee at the Tunnel, but his legacy lives on there and the coffee is really good.
Deirdre Oakley is the Editor of Social Shutter and an Associate Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.