Hot & Now: March 2018

What’s Hot and What’s Happening Now in the Restaurant Scene.

Too young to go. We mourn the passing of Ed Hyder, a fixture in the Worcester food scene. Hyder, owner of Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace on Worcester’s West Side passed away a few weeks ago. I have known Ed since we both grew up on Grafton Hill; we were high school classmates and friends. Ed was a font of food knowledge, but more importantly, he always kept me informed about our classmates.

Korean-style restaurant simjang. The second location from the deadhorse hill team is expected to open in early March on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. The deadhorse ownership group announced in August plans for the second restaurant, simjang, which will take the location once occupied by Sweet Kitchen & Bar, which closed in July after being open for nine years.

Hoy Toy closes. The iconic Chinese restaurant Hoy Toy on Worcester’s Park Avenue has closed its doors. The Hoy Toy has been a Park Avenue fixture for about 40 years, serving countless customers their first mai tai.

Closed in the north. Bootleggers of Lunenburg closed its doors at the end of January.

Closed in the south. Native Wings & Grill in Oxford closed abruptly the first week of February. This chain restaurant was only open a year. I guess they couldn’t compete with Wings over Worcester.

Another South County closing. Vienna in Southbridge closed the first week of February. It never reopened after a fire around Thanksgiving of 2017. The building was auctioned off.

Brew who? Central Massachusetts welcomes a new brewery, Altruist Brewing, in Sturbridge. A ribbon-cutting took place Jan. 13 at the Sturbridge Marketplace, 559 Main St. The brewery is open from 5-10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon-10 p.m. Saturdays. Altruist was founded by husband and wife, Nancy and Bob Bixby, and friend Chris Mancini. The brewery specializes in small hand-crafted batches.

Open for noodles. STIX Noodle Bar hosted its grand opening Monday, Feb. 12. The fast-casual eatery will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, serving classic and creative ramen bowls, along with fresh handmade curry, teppanyaki and wok-inspired dishes. STIX is located at 72 Franklin St.

One opens, one closes. Techni Mediterranean Grill closed its doors for rebranding just as the Taste of Mediterranean opened its doors at 20 Franklin St. in Worcester. I guess you can’t have two Middle Eastern restaurants within grape leaf-tossing distance.

Food Truck Row. The city of Worcester is set to establish a Food Truck Row lineup of some of the city’s food trucks beginning March 5.The trucks will be out Monday through Saturday at 40 Highland St., behind the Worcester Auditorium, braving the weather through March. The official grand opening of Food Truck Row will be in April.

After all these years. Chuck’s Steakhouse in Auburn will open for lunch. The restaurant will serve lunch at noon, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chuck’s will celebrate 40 years this year and is owned by Steve Londrgan and Tom Flynn.