Niche Hospitality Group will open two Worcester restaurants and a cafe in 2017, and they're all hockey related.
The Worcester restaurant group will open Nonna's Pizza & Pasta, a casual Italian, family-friendly restaurant serving pizza, lasagna, meatballs and the like inside the new two-rink hockey facility in the Canal District expected to be completed later this year.
In the same facility, which is owned by Worcester Railers Hockey Club Owner Cliff Rucker, Niche will own and operate Nonna's Cafe, where hockey fans and neighborhood residents can grab gelato or Italian ice, according to Niche Owner Mike Covino.
Downtown, Niche will own and run the Railers Tavern, scheduled to open in October when the Railers begin their season. Niche will work with Rucker to make the Tavern a gathering place for hockey fans before and after games, and for sports fans every day of the week.
The restaurant group is also in talks with the developers of the Mercantile Center to bring a new restaurant to the downtown mall. If a deal goes through, the new restaurant would become Niche's flagship eatery and represent its biggest investment yet, Covino said.