The New Year is right around the corner, and with it comes a slew of new dining options in Worcester.
A number of restaurants, cafes and breweries are set to open in the city in 2020. From handmade pasta to authentic French crepes, Worcester will see new eateries in the up-and-coming Canal District, Shrewsbury Street and downtown.
Here are some of the establishments coming to the city over the next year:
Chashu Ramen + Izakaya
Downtown Worcester will soon be home to a new Japanese-inspired restaurant and bar.
Chashu Ramen + Izakaya is coming to 38 Franklin St., where it will serve up steaming bowls of ramen, craft cocktails and skewers. Owners Son Vo, of Kaizen and Pho Sure, and Tam Le, of Pho Linh and Reign Drink Lab in Boston, described the restaurant as “elevated Asian.”
“The concept is something I think is fun,” Vo previously told MassLive. “Every chef has a different take, so our take is we’re trying to bring a different take to the food style to Worcester.”
The restaurant will feature about 100 seats, a large bar area, an open kitchen concept and a reservation-only room with a chef’s table, where the food is prepared right in front of customers.
It is expected to open in early 2020.
Bay State Brewing Co.
The space formerly occupied by Nonna’s Pizza & Pasta in the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center will reopen as a brewery in the New Year.
Bay State Brewing Co. has signed a 10-year lease for the first-and second-floor space, where it is building out a taproom and brewery. The company, best known for its “Becky Likes the Smell” double IPA, has not yet announced an opening date.
Bay State was founded in 2012 by Shawn Rich and Chip Jarry. It was previously based in Leicester and produced its beer in Western Massachusetts.
Worcester Public Market
The city’s Canal District is getting a new public market featuring everything from handmade pasta to vegan treats.
The Worcester Public Market is slated to open at the corner of Green and Harding streets in February, with soft openings in January. The space will include a variety of vendors and a Market Pantry selling local goods.
The building will be anchored by a Wachusett Brewing Co. taproom. The 3,000-square-foot space will serve the market’s food court and will offer outdoor seating on the plaza. It will also feature one of the brewery’s signature Airstream trailer bars.
Other vendors include handmade pasta shop Pasta Mani, allergen-free Jennifer Lee’s Gourmet Bakery, Legacy Deli & Bagel, One Love Jamaican food, and Taqueria Del Pueblo, among others.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
An upscale steak house is coming to the city’s Mercantile Center.
This fall, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is slated to open an 8,200-square-foot restaurant with 270 seats and an additional 70 seats outdoors. The restaurant specializes in fine steaks and chops, which are cooked using a broiling method and served on a 500-degree plate.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House was founded in 1965 by Ruth Fertel in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Today, there are more than 150 Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses, including 20 international franchisee-owned restaurants in Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Aruba and Canada.
In Massachusetts, Ruth’s Chris Steak House has locations in Waltham and Boston.
Luci’s Taco Shop and Margarita Bar
The team behind Worcester’s deadhorse hill and simjang restaurants are opening a new concept on Shrewsbury Street.
Luci’s Taco Shop and Margarita Bar will open in simjang’s current location in 2020. Simjang, an American-Korean concept, will close temporarily and reopen in an unannounced location, co-owner Jared Forman previously told MassLive.
“We have such a narrow scope of what Mexican cuisine is in this country and I would like to offer some new takes than Worcester has seen before,” he said. “To think that Worcester could have enough Mexican places to properly represent the reality of that spectacular country is a gross disservice to so many different styles of food.”
Forman, who loves learning about new cultures and cuisines, has traveled to Mexico several times. He said he put that knowledge and experience to use when designing the restaurant’s menu.
Luci’s Taco Shop is expected to open in early 2020.
A bubble tea shop is opening next to Unrivaled Training in the city’s Canal District.
One Zo will have a cozy, coffee shop vibe with free WiFi, franchise owner James Ta recently told MassLive. The business could employ as many as 50 people, he said, and customers will be able to watch employees hand-make various flavors of boba.
Some of the popular items at One Zo include brown sugar milk tea, taro milk tea and avocado foam milk tea, Ta said.
The location is expected to open in early February.
Former Figs and Pigs location
Something new is coming to the DCU Center location previously occupied by Figs & Pigs.
The tenant has not yet been announced, but a new eatery is expected to move into the space in 2020.
This upcoming concept from Grid Hospitality will bring street food to downtown Worcester.
The restaurant will open in the space formerly occupied by Stix Noodle Bar next to the Beer Garden. An opening date has not yet been announced.
Om Indian Grill & Bar
The Canal District space formerly occupied by Kummerspeck Restaurant and Delicatessen will soon find new life as an Indian restaurant.
Om Indian Grill & Bar is moving into 118 Water St. An opening date has not yet been announced, but a large “coming soon” banner is now hanging above the entrance.
Suzette Creperie & Café
After closing this year, Worcester’s historic Weintraub’s Jewish Delicatessen will be replaced by a French creperie.
Suzette Creperie & Café plans to open in the space that used to house the Water Street business, which closed in March after nearly 100 years. The new creperie is being opened by Jean Luc Wittner, who worked at a steakhouse in Wellesley and is originally from France.
Wittner previously said he plans to honor the building’s history with a pastrami crepe.
The Woo Bar & Grill
Right away in 2020, diners can enjoy a new eatery on Worcester’s “restaurant row.”
Woo Bar & Grill recently opened at 358 Shrewsbury St., in the location formerly occupied by Padavano’s Place. The restaurant features a full bar and its menu includes American classics like wings, buffalo chicken dip, wood-fired pizza and burgers.
Maker to Main
It’s not technically a restaurant, but downtown Worcester’s new grocery store will feature plenty of local food and demonstrations by area chefs.
Maker to Main will open at 328 Main St. in January, bringing everything from fresh-cut flowers to deli meat to the heart of the city. The shop was born from Lettuce Be Local — a Sterling-based food hub with a vast network of local farmers and producers.
The shop will sell fresh produce, meat and dairy, maple syrup and honey, flour, grains, pasta, sauces and much more. The store will also offer a selection of products that aren’t necessarily grown locally, like citrus fruits and avocados, as a convenience to area residents.
Maker to Main will also feature a Chef’s Table with demonstrations by local chefs and brewers.
A 500-seat restaurant from Broadway Hospitality Group
The name has not yet been announced, but Boston-based Broadway Hospitality Group has plans to open a 500-seat restaurant in Mercantile Center.
The project will be the group’s largest undertaking to date, with 13,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including a rooftop bar. The food will be mostly American but eclectic, with an open kitchen based around thin-crust pizza.
There will also be small dishes and about 60 items on the menu.
BHG owns Tavern in the Square, The Broadway in South Boston, Tavitas and Tavern Allston.
The project will get underway next year and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2021.