Hot&Now: December 2017

Paul Giorgio

Remember when it was only Italian? Shrewsbury Street in Worcester used to be filled with Italian eateries; now, you have to search one out. The newest place set to open is Simjang, a Korean restaurant owned by the folks who brought you deadhorse hill. Nearly 18 months after opening their first restaurant, Sean Woods, Jared Forman and Bert LaValley plan on opening Korean restaurant on Shrewsbury Street by the end of the month. According to Woods, “Simjang is the Korean word for heart, and Worcester is the heart of the Commonwealth.” The restaurant will be located in the space that housed Sweet, right next to 7 Nana.

Westside rumors. It appears that the Tatnuck Grille, located in Worcester’s Tatnuk Square, may have new owners. Rumors swirling around the city have the owners of Funky Murphy’s on Shrewsbury Street as the soon-to-be new operators.

Finders Keepers. It appears that Keepers Pub on Route 12 in West Boylston has been given a new name. McCormack & Mortell’s has debuted in the space that once housed Keeper’s Pub.

Puck, yeah. The new Railers Pub, located on Commercial Street, opened at the end of October. The pub is owned and run by Niche Hospitality Group, which will also run the food service at the new hockey rink on Harding Street.

More local beer. Get ready for more local brews, as craft beer continues to grow exponentially in Central Massachusetts. Purgatory Beer Co. opened in a small building at the Linwood Mill site on Linwood Avenue in Northbridge in November. For the opening, the brewery had four beers on tap, including a double IPA, two other IPAs and a chocolate milk stout, said co-founder Brian DiStefano. The brewery’s name comes from Sutton’s Purgatory Chasm, a Blackstone Valley staple for hiking and rock climbing. Its beers will include mostly ales, IPAs, stouts and porters. Another area brewery, Altruist Brewing Company, in Sturbridge, will open sometime this month. The brewery, run by husband-and-wife team Bob and Nancy Bixby, is located in a Main Street building. Further afield, Amory’s Tomb Brewing in Maynard is also expected to open soon.

Vegans have a nest of their own. Nicole and Victor Broushet recently opened the Vegan Nest Café at 6 Waldo St. in Worcester.

Some like it hot. Hot Table, known in the Springfield area for pressed panini sandwiches, recently opened at the Apex Center in Marlborough. It’s the Springfield-based chain’s first move east, but it won’t be the last. “Our intent is to start opening more stores in the western suburbs of Boston,” said John DeVoie, company president.

Gondola ride ends. Lucca is set to open in the space which housed the longtime Leominster restaurant The Gondola on Lancaster Street.

The wait is over. The Hanover Theatre has finally landed a restaurant. Boston-based restaurateur Chris Rassias has signed a five-year lease. The 1920s-themed eatery will be named Josephine, in homage to Josephine Baker, a ’20s chantruese. Rassias also owns Boston’s Fairmont Grille.

Closing act. It appears that Shrewsbury Street’s Chameleon has closed. Owners Kevin Perry and his wife ran into legal difficulties. The former manager of The Usual renamed it Chameleon, which was shut down in November.