A new Vietnamese coffeehouse is coming to the former Figs & Pigs location in Worcester’s DCU Center.
REIGNcafe is aiming to open in the Foster Street space this spring, according to co-founder Tam Le, who also owns Reign Drink Lab in Boston. The concept will bring Vietnamese coffee, tea and smoothies to downtown Worcester, as well as dishes like banh mi, noodle bowls and salad bowls.
“We’re not aiming to be traditional, but we want to make sure we capture authentic flavors and we just want to add our twist on it,” Le said.
Le and his team are partnering with Son Vo of Sturbridge’s Kaizen restaurant and Pho Sure in Shrewsbury on the venture. The duo are also opening another restaurant in Worcester — Chashu Ramen + Izakaya — within the next few months.
REIGNcafe will specialize in Vietnamese coffee, which Le said is made “from founder to cup.”
Le and Vo are both Vietnamese, and will import coffee beans from Vietnam. The traditional drink is prepared with condensed milk.
“We try to stay true to our roots, but then we add our cool, fun spin and twist to it,” Le said.
Reign’s signature beverage — the Dark and Stormy — which has been immensely popular at the Dorchester location, is a layered coffee drink made with Vietnamese nitro cold brew and classic Vietnamese iced coffee and topped with sea salt cream.
The cafe will also serve teas, lattes and smoothies — all made with real ingredients.
The Reign team began looking for a second location more than a year ago and decided upon Worcester after noticing a similarity to Dorchester.
“I see a lot of parallels between Dorchester and Worcester in terms of the no-nonsense nature — it’s just hardworking people, and they’re real,” Le said. “We see a lot of the growth happening, and we’re excited by that.”
The DCU Center was particularly attractive, he said, because it’s on-brand with the Reign concept. He said all the events that are held there — from hockey to arena football — tie in with the business’s mission.
“The whole idea behind Reign, it’s about royalty and we come with a certain energy,” Le said. “We want to fuel you to rule your day, and it’s about everyone is the ruler of their domain.”
He added that the cafe aims to offer high-quality food while also being approachable.
“Our core value is to be real and authentic, so we want to make sure everyone coming in feels like they’re being appreciated,” he said. “We want to have the quality and care for our craft without the pretentiousness.”
REIGNcafe will likely focus on breakfast and lunch, though Le said its full hours will be announced at a future time.