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April 27, 2023

Two new restaurants open in downtown Fitchburg

Old building with Fitchburg Gas & Electric Company written on it Photo | Timothy Doyle Workers put the finishing touches on the Dario's Ristorante location in March.
Two men stand in a cafe setting Photo | Timothy Doyle Rise & Grind Café owners (from left) Mark McCaffrey and Alex Schinas

As downtown revitalization efforts in Fitchburg are beginning to materialize, two pairs of local business owners opened new restaurants on Main Street in March and April.

A new Italian restaurant, Dario’s Ristorante, will open on Friday at 655 Main St., according to a Facebook post by Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale. 

The owners, Elmer and Delmy Melendez, also own Tacos Tequilas Mexican Cocina at 310 Main St. in Fitchburg and Bandoleros Mexican Grill in Devens.

In March, Alex Schinas and Mark McCaffrey, the owners of Rise & Grind Cafe and Smoothie Bar located inside of Empire Athletics in Leominster, opened Rise & Grind Cafe at 805 Main St. in Fitchburg, which serves breakfast, lunch, and beverages. 

Photo | Timothy Doyle
Rise & Grind Cafe in Fitchburg

The City of Fitchburg completed its $23.5-million renovation of City Hall nearby at 718 Main St. in December 2020, leading the way for downtown redevelopment. 

Fitchburg State University is investing heavily to restore a 1,700-seat proscenium theater and build a new black box theater at 717 Main St. FSU has already completed a gaming lab and small business incubator at the site.

The Fitchburg Cultural Alliance opened a headquarters and arts space at 675 Main St. in a former Fidelity Bank building, which is owned by Fitchburg State University.

Among other nearby projects, the historic Fay Club at 658 Main St. is undergoing restoration. In January, Merrimack Valley Realty Group purchased a mixed use building at 773-779 Main St.

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