Questions Follow Abrupt Exit Of NA Dog Museum Founder
David York has a bone to pick with the city of North Adams.
The Berkshire Eagle reports York says his efforts to launch the Museum of Dog and other ventures were obstructed by the city — and people — of North Adams. But those who interacted with York until his abrupt departure last fall say he brought his problems on himself.
York's canine-crazy museum on Union Street rapidly attracted media attention and local buzz when it opened last spring.
But as quickly as he bought and built up a museum, downtown restaurant, a pair of limousines, food trucks and more, York abruptly left the Berkshires — losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate investments and leaving the city to wonder: What happened?
In taking his show on the road, York left a trail of baffled former employees, city officials and community leaders who struggle to reconcile the public perception York sought to create with the way he conducted his businesses.
York claims the city of North Adams obstructed his attempts at revitalizing the downtown with several businesses. He said in the course of several interviews with The Eagle that he chose to speak out to encourage smarter business practices in North Adams, particularly in regard to Main Street.
But interviews with more than a dozen city officials, former employees and community leaders who interacted with York during his year-long stay in the northern Berkshires offer a picture that contrasts with the Instagram-ready image York sought to present in North Adams.
People interviewed described a businessman who always worked on a new project before finishing the last, exaggerated his successes and was constantly worried that city officials or his own employees conspired against him. York showed little patience for routine regulatory steps.
Last summer, York set his eyes on a second venture, a restaurant on Marshall Street. He had hoped to buy the assets of the former Brewhaha Cafe, which in June moved to the city's West End. But York balked when he learned he needed Planning Board approval.
York saw that as burdensome.
But city rules call for such approvals.