Hot&Now: May 2018

What’s hot and what’s happening now in the restaurant scene.

Changing with the day. Each weekday a new cuisine will be available in downtown Worcester now that Fooda has launched in the Mercantile Center. Fooda partners with businesses to open lunch spots in office buildings. With more than 1,000 restaurant partners nationwide and locations in more than 12 cities across the country, Fooda brings a different restaurants straight to employees at lunchtime. Fooda recently unveiled its newest location in Worcester. Right off the lobby of the Mercantile Center at 100 Front St. is the new sleek Fooda space, which is being called “The Vault” because the site used to house a bank. We hear that Figs + Pigs, Meze and a few unnamed Worcester eateries will be providing lunch.

The Big River keeps on churning. It appears that Worcester’s Canal District continues to thrive and change. There will be a new pho restaurant opening right in Kelley Square. Also opening this month is Maddi’s, located on Water Street.

Changing hands. It looks like a bunch of places are going to have new owners soon. Let’s start with the Canal District, where it appears that Three G’s is being sold. The bar is at 157 Millbury St. There’s no word on who the new owner is. We cross the city to find that Austin Liquors on Gold Star Boulevard has been sold. This is one of four stores owned by the same company. No word if the other Austins will be sold.

When the smoke clears. Smokey Joe’s & Rumors on Worcester’s Park Avenue are also slated for new ownership. Stay tuned for any changes.

Sell those cookies. Worcester area Girl Scouts recently held the Fork It Over competition and fundraiser at The Hanover Theatre. Savory Category winners were Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School (first place) and Figs + Pigs Kitchen and Pantry (second place). In the Sweet Dishes category, the judges chose The Publick House (first place) and The Overlook (second place). The People’s Choice Awards went to Figs + Pigs for the savory dish and DJ’s Tasty Treats for the sweet dish.

Come fly with me. The Flying Rhino Café on Worcester’s Shrewsbury Street recently announced its new spring/summer menu. The menu stresses freshness and is heavy on both Mediterranean and Korean influences. Among the Korean offerings are Kimchi Rice Balls and Smoky Rock Pot Pork. Korean is the hot new trend, I guess.

East Side/West Side. It appears that the rumors were true. The Tatnuck Grille is gone and closed down and has been sold to the Funky Murphy’s guys. They expect to be closed for the summer for renovations. The Tatnuck Grill was an old Friendly’s and had not been renovated in a while. Watch for a fall opening.

This is both wicked and twisted. Reunion Tap and Table hopes to open on Worcester Street in North Grafton by June, according to co-owner Shawn Briggs. Briggs, also the co-founder of Wicked Twisted Pretzels, a North Grafton wholesale manufacturer of pretzels and dipping sauces, will open the restaurant with Sargon Hanna, who owns the land Wicked Pretzel is on. So, could we see some pretzel-crusted items or even a pretzel bun?

Paul Giorgio

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