November 27, 2017
CENTRAL MASS in brief

Hanover Theatre sets revenue record

PHOTO/GRANT WELKER

The Hanover Theatre in Worcester generated $9.2 million in revenue in fiscal 2017, which is a record and double what the theater made when it opened in 2008.

The revenue record contributed to the Hanover having its most successful year as it nears its 10th anniversary celebration on March 14, said President and CEO Troy Siebels said at the theatre's annual meeting on Nov. 14.

The theater had 231 performances and 214,000 patrons in the budget year, which ended mid-2017.

Glen Grusmark, general manager, Hanover Theatre

A $10-million fundraising campaign first kicked off to help buy the conservatory building has so far raised $7.6 million. That conservatory opened in January and has run 62 classes serving more than 200 students, said Meghan Montaner, the theater's director of education.

The theater hired its first general manager, Glen Grusmark, to help oversee operations. Its Adopt a School program, which aims to bring the theater to Worcester Public Schools students, has connected with 2,400 students.

The theater made the large majority of its $9.2 million in revenue from ticket sales and other events income, which is supplemented by grants and investment income.

New downtown restaurant

When the Hanover Theatre expanded into the building at 551 Main St. building for the new conservatory, leaders of the organization set a goal of opening a restaurant to help liven the stretch of downtown outside.

That vision will become a reality next spring.

Chris Rassias, a Worcester-raised restaurateur, will open a 1920s-themed restaurant in the space. Plans for the restaurant, dubbed Josephine's, were revealed at the annual meeting.

The menu will be American, with steak and seafood offerings, upscale but affordable enough for people looking to take in a show afterward, Rassias said.

"I'm excited to be here and excited to do great things in the future," he said.

Rassias, who owns the Fairmount Grille in Boston, said he was tipped off to the opportunity by friends in the Worcester area who heard of the opportunity. He plans to name the restaurant after Josephine Baker, an entertainer and activist who became a star in the '20s.

The restaurant will bring new life to a storefront that's been vacant since before the theater bought the former office building in 2014. The expansion was completed in mid-2016.

"We strongly feel that having a restaurant down there that's symbiotic will contribute a great deal," Siebels said. "It has taken a lot to bring that together."

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