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Updated: January 9, 2023 / 2023 Best of Business

Best of Business 2023: Best Ways to Relax

Photo | Courtesy of The Mercantile The Mercantile

Best After-Work Bar: The Mercantile

Shortly after its grand opening in April, The Mercantile became a popular spot for after-work drinks and food, said Max Rosen, operations leader for its owner, Boston-based Broadway Hospitality Group.

The restaurant’s roofdeck was a great spot to grab a drink in the warm summer months, Rosen said. There was a steady stream of Worcester Red Sox fans before and after the games over the summer, and business has only grown since then: The Mercantile had at least one event booked every day in the month of December, leading up to the holidays.

“It’s been really well-received since the get-go,” Rosen said.

The Mercantile has become a mainstay for events like baby and bridal showers and work parties for small and large groups, Rosen said. The restaurant has a solid base of local customers who come in regularly.

Another hit has been its community events, ticketed gatherings where guests can eat a three- to four-course meal with spirit, cocktail, or beer pairings. One was a tequila dinner, and the end of January will feature a Lunar New Year dinner.

In late December, The Mercantile added a charity cocktail to its menu called The Heart of the Commonwealth, to raise money for the Greg Hill Foundation of Woburn, which was founded by Central Massachusetts native Greg Hill, host of WEEI Sports. For every cocktail sold, $1 goes toward the foundation’s mission of responding to the immediate needs of local families impacted by tragedy.

-- Story written by Laura Finaldi

*denotes repeat winner

Best Hotel for Business Clients: Beechwood Hotel*

Location: Worcester,
Top executive: Sayed Saleh, asset manager and managing director
Founded: 1989
Employees: 100

In 2022, the Beechwood performed a multi-million-dollar renovation, as part of its continuing efforts to provide world-class service. It is the only AAA Four Diamond boutique property in Central Massachusetts and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the best hotels in Massachusetts and one of the best hotels in the U.S.

Notable runner-up: AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester

Best Public Golf Course: Green Hill Municipal G.C.*

Location: Worcester,
Top executive: Matthew Moison, director of golf
Founded: 1929

As a public golf course, Green Hill aims to offer affordable golf in Central Massachusetts, with memberships with unlimited golf for $1,450 and up, and one-time green fees as low as $17. The course includes a driving range and a restaurant.

Notable runners-up: Wachusett Country Club, Cyprian Keyes Golf Club

Best Private Golf Course: Worcester Country Club*

Location: Worcester,

Top executive: Troy Sprister, general manager and chief operating officer
Founded: 1900

The Worcester Country Club is probably best known for hosting the Ryder Cup in 1927, as well as the men’s U.S. Open in 1925 and the women’s U.S. Open in 1960. In addition to the golf course, the club includes its pool area, as well as seating for 450 indoors and nearly 200 outdoors.

Notable runners-up: Tatnuck Country Club, The Haven Country Club

Best Exercise Facility/Fitness Center: Worcester Fitness*

Location: Worcester,
Top executive: President & Owner Tim MacDonald
Founded: 1978
Employees: 72

Worcester Fitness offers a standard gym experience in addition to group fitness, swimming lessons, racquetball, and massage. MacDonald’s Tavern, located inside the facility, offers a sports-bar environment and function room.

Notable runners-up: Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness

Best Limousine Service: Knights Airport Limousine Service*

Location: Shrewsbury,
Top executives: President Michael Hogan, General Manager Thomas Hogan, and Sales & Marketing Manager Denise Kapulka-Cariglia
Founded: 1985
Employees: 120

As the travel industry recovers, Knight’s Airport Limousine Service is increasing hiring after the COVID pandemic limited its operations. The 38-year-old family-owned business prides itself on positive relationships with customers and promises of going the extra mile for potential new passengers who might try Knights for the first time.

Notable runner-up: Joey's Limousine Service

Best Luxury Automobile Dealership: Wagner Mercedes-Benz of Shrewsbury*

Location: Shrewsbury,
Top executive: Owner Mark Wagner
Founded: 1980
Employees: 105

Supply chain issues in 2022 made meeting customer needs a challenge for Wagner Mercedes-Benz of Shrewsbury, but the team remained committed to keeping prices reasonable while managing inventory and facilitating new vehicle purchases for customers.

Notable runner-up: Lexus of Northborough

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story had the incorrect website address for Worcester Fitness. The correct address is

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