When news broke earlier this year of Worcester’s “restaurant row” getting a chain restaurant, emotions were mixed. But, as of Monday, April 11th, the British have arrived and are aching to prove they want to be part of the city’s fabric. With its opening, Shrewsbury Street, in Worcester, welcomes British Beer Company to the space formerly occupied by The Urban Kitchen and Bar and Coral Seafood.
The space has been completely re-invented to create a comfortable environment for family-friendly dining, private functions (both large and small) and even casual bar dining (as apparent by the focal center bar that is designed with rich architectural details). The physical space is unrecognizable from previous tenants: the kitchen has been moved to the back of the building and windows that previously looked into it have been replaced with private cove, booth seating; the function room which resided on the second floor remains, but now overlooks the main bar area with a balcony that allows the entire restaurant to have an open feeling; the spot previously home to the Coral and Urban bar have been replaced with a smaller dining room which is removed enough from the bar to feel private.
The only part of this restaurant that one could argue makes it a “chain,” is that the menu is shared across its other BBC locations. This, however, does not mean that the freshness, creativity, and flavors are cookie-cutter, as apparent by the Sweet Thai Chili Salmon. Even the drink menu, which has several notable favorites (from both sides of the pond) even include hometown favorites, such as Wormtown beers.
While some may cry foul allowing a “chain” onto Shrewsbury Street, it’s important to remember that any tax paying entity should show signs of growth for the city and when there is so much attention to detail to every aspect of a restaurant, British Beer Company should be example of how a “big company” can compliment the diversity of food “in the neighborhood.”