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June 17, 2024

After multifamily proposal abandoned, former Canal District BBQ spot to become Chinese hotpot restaurant

A small restaurant building with a sign above the door Image | Courtesy of Google Maps The former site of Smokestack Urban BBQ on Green Street in Worcester

The former site of Smokestack Urban Barbecue in Worcester’s Canal District, once destined to become part of the Table Talk Pies Lofts apartment development, has been sold to a restaurant group with plans to convert the space into a Chinese hot pot restaurant.

The property, located at 139 Green St., was sold for $680,000 in a deal finalized on Friday, according to Worcester District Registry of Deeds records. The property was sold to Lameima LLC, a Brookline-based entity.

The purchasers of the site are the operators of LaMei Hot Pot, a Chinese restaurant with locations in Brookline and Providence, said Mark Johns, a broker at Worcester-based Kelleher & Sadowsky Associates. Johns and Drew Higgins of Kelleher & Sadowsky Associates represented both the buyer and the seller in this transaction.

The site will undergo a renovation, with a potential opening in the fall, Johns said.

The property was sold by 139 Green Street Worcester LLC, an entity managed by Richard Romaine, the former operator of Smokestack. The property remained under Romaine’s ownership as North Carolina-based Quarterra Multifamily Communities sought approvals for redeveloping the site into a 375-unit apartment building. Those plans were officially axed when the property was put back on the market in December.

Smokestack permanently closed in November 2022. Romaine continues to operate Romaine's Wood Grill and Bar in Northborough.   

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