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Comings and Goings

Worcester, long known for its wide variety of culinary options, certainly has something for everyone. But it seems that with every new eatery that opens, we lose another.

Sadly, it seems as if we have lost one of Worcester’s finest restaurants (IMO) with the closing of Zipango Sushi Bar and Grille on Shrewsbury Street. Zipango, long known for its intimate dining room, fresh sushi and wonderful fusion cuisine, appears to have become a victim of the tough economic times. We wish the wonderful staff from Zipango’s all the best and thank them for many, many wonderful meals and memories.

Also closing recently was the City Park Grill (we hardly knew ya!), Vinny T’s on Lake Quinsigamond (the deck on the lake was fantastic so the opening of Buca di Beppoâ is much welcomed!), 55 Pearl (will a restaurant ever work in that space?), Castellana’s (read more below) and the Vietnamese/Cambodian restaurant, Apsara.

On a more upbeat note, Worcesterites have a number of new gastronomical options as we welcome new restaurants including Ceres Bistro at the Beechwood Hotel and Smokestack Urban Barbeque in the old Castellana’s space on Harding Street.

Ceres Bistro is a Niche Hospitality Group-managed gem that features a “farm to table” dining experience utilizing fresh, seasonal products, purchased from local purveyors whenever possible. This spectacularly designed restaurant features a beautiful stained glass-domed dining room, floor to ceiling glass walls overlooking the patio and a warmly decorated club room for private dining.

The Smokestack Urban Barbeque is the brainchild of Richard Romaine of Romaine’s in Northborough. This exciting new restaurant features delectable BBQ, served in a warm, casual and fun atmosphere. Everything you would expect to be on the menu at a BBQ place is there, along with some interesting twists and turns.

At the end of the month Niche Hospitality is anticipating opening The Peoples Kitchen of the Citizen (or TPK for short) located at one exchange place, directly above The Citizen, where Il Forno once resided. The menu, which will change daily, will feature an exotic selection of meats, cured on location, and is said to be “comfortable, approachable and ever-changing.”

So as you can see, a restaurant closing in Worcester, albeit sad, means that somewhere else in the city someone is putting there hopes and dreams into opening something for us to enjoy. Lets get out there and support these ambitious folks!