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December 6, 2019

Two-story restaurant to open in Mercantile Center

Image | Courtesy | Broadway Hospitality A two-story restaurant fills a space next to the Mercantile Center garage, leased by the Broadway Hospitality Group.

A Boston restaurant group, which owns Tavern in the Square in Shrewsbury and in nine other locations, plans to open an elaborate indoor-outdoor eatery at the Mercantile Center in Worcester.

The yet-unnamed 500-seat restaurant will occupy 12,000 square feet on two levels at a long vacant Applebee’s site on Mercantile Street adjacent to the Mercantile Center garage. It will include outdoor eating on the second floor.

The Boston-based Broadway Hospitality Group has been signed a 15-year deal with Franklin Realty Advisors, the Wellesley developer of Mercantile Center. Terms of the deal were not announced. 

The new $6 million restaurant is expected to open by the spring of 2021, joining a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse expected to open next year.

“The vibrancy that Broadway Hospitality Group instills in its establishments is a perfect match to what the Mercantile Center complex has come to embody in downtown Worcester,” said Chip Norton, owner of Franklin Realty Advisors and managing director of the Mercantile Center.

He said the signed lease deal leaves the former 40,000-square-foot Worcester Foothills Theatre as the only available retail space at the Mercantile Center. The twin office towers are nearly 96 percent occupied, he said. 

BHG is owned and operated by three local restaurateurs who have been part of the Boston restaurant scene for years, including Joseph Arcari, president, CEO Stephen DeSousa, and Renata Valentin, partner.

The restaurant group includes the Tavern in the Square, whose locations include Shrewsbury, Northborough and Littleton, along with Boston restaurants The Broadway, Tavern Allston and Tavitas.

“Worcester is the hot new city" said Arcari. "Many of the millennials who graduate from colleges and universities are staying in town and they're always looking for new dining options."

The new restaurant will add to a growing list of restaurants around Worcester Common.

In addition to the planned Ruth's Chris, Mercantile Center has Fuel America, a cafe that opened in January on Front Street. Across the street, a 110 Grill opened in the AC Hotel in May 2018, and a Protein House opened this spring in the 145 Front at City Square building.

Across the common, the Grid District opened last winter Revolution Pie + Pint and Craft Table & Bar at 50 Franklin St. They joined the Beer Garden, which opened last September.

Grant Welker contributed to this report.

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