Hot & Now

Hot & Now

By Paul Giorgio

Firewood Café? The Firewood café is set to open at 224 Chandler St near Park Ave in Worcester. The sign promises BBQ and smoked meats. They have been working on the space for several months now. No word yet on an opening date.

Peppercorns’ new concept. Peppercorns on Worcester’s Park Ave is trying out a new concept under Chef Tomaso Gragiulo. It is called “Hand of the Chef.” Folks can add an element of surprise to their dining and have the Chef cook anything he wants for them. Why not add a little adventure to your dining pleasure? Under Chef Tomaso’s hand you surely won’t be disappointed.

Big Joe’s finally does it. After much prodding by customers, Big Joe’s Deli on Worcester’s Shrewsbury St. is finally opening on Saturday nights from 5-11 pm and it will be BYOB. Look for their Blackboard Special. Big Joe, by the way, is Joe Gerardi and he is known for his large portions at lunch. Call 508-752-0558 for details.

Ceres gets new chef. Steve Champagne uber chef of the Niche Hospitality Group has taken over the range at Ceres Bistro at the Beechwood Hotel. He takes over from Volker Wagner who moved here from New York to open Ceres.

Flip Flops. Al Fresco at 680 Main St. in Holden has changed its name to Flip Flops and has also changed the concept. Owner Nick Viapiano has created a more casual dining experience, focusing on his specialty pizzas and his entrée favorites.

Keivan starts laughing. Viva Bene on Worcester’s Commercial St. recently started a Comedy Club on Saturday nights. Now you can enjoy a laugh with your pasta. Check out their menu and who is performing on

Cooking School Grand Opening. Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks announced the Grand Opening of their new location at 21 Turnpike Rd/Rte. 9 in Southborough on Sat., Oct. 16th.

Eat Slow and chew your food. The Slow Food Gala benefiting the Worcester Regional Environmental Council will be held Thursday evening, Oct. 14, beginning at 6:30pm. The multi-course dinner will be held at Hogan Center on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross and costs $100.

TPK opens. The People’s Kitchen operated by the Niche Hospitality Group opened its doors the last week of September with a grand opening party benefitting the pancreatic cancer center at UMASS.

News on Shrewsbury Street. Jeff’s, a Shrewsbury St. landmark for about 20 years, is being sold. The word on the street is that Danny Ha, owner of Shrewsbury St.’s Red Lantern, is the buyer. Also it appears that Antonio Corapi, tailor extraordinaire, is changing professions and opening a restaurant/bar at 358 Shrewsbury St.

Rumor has it. Rumor has it that Barber’s Crossing is seriously looking at the Boston Billiards property in the Greendale section of Worcester. Boston Billiards has faced severe financial problems of late and may be closing down. John Wallace opened his first Barber’s Crossing on West Boylston St. about 20 years ago and has always wanted to return to the neighborhood.

Closed. On a sad note, Andrea’s Pizza on Worcester’s Stafford St. has closed after 37 years in business.

Trumbulls sold. Trumbull’s Restaurant, a Spencer landmark, was recently sold. It offered traditional American food in a casual setting. Word has it the new owners plan on turning it into a Mexican restaurant.