Located at 118 Water St., Kummerspeck is a new comfort food eatery serving local food, including meats and produce, in Worcester’s Canal District. The eatery, which is part sit-down restaurant, part butcher shop, is the dream that Matt Mahoney, former chef de cuisine at the Butcher Shop in Boston, and his wife Rachel Coit, former sous chef at Sportello in Boston, have brought to life.
“Kummerspeck is a hybrid of restaurant and delicatessen. The name ‘Kummerspeck’ in German literally means ‘grief bacon,’ but culturally translates to ‘weight gained due to emotional eating whether happy or sad,” Coit said. “We are focused on that idea – showcasing good, local food that just makes you feel good.”
Mahoney and Coit met at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. “We graduated from there, moved and worked in Ashville, N.C., for a while, moved back to Massachusetts and worked in Boston, and now we’re back in the Worcester area,” Coit said.
Being locals themselves – Coit from Harvard and Mahoney from Spencer – coming back to their roots and opening a local spot in Worcester feels good. “We really thought Worcester needed a place like this, and we are so excited to bring it to the people of this city. We just want to offer classic stuff that people want. Opening in Worcester really spoke to us,” Mahoney said.
Being partly a butcher shop and deli, Kummerspeck offers meats like prime rib, sausage and various charcuterie items but also offers plenty of meats for those that are a bit more adventurous, including tongue, heart, stomach and kidneys.
As for the sit-down dining options, Kummerspeck, which seats about 50 to 60 guests, offers traditional comfort food with a twist. Menu items include meat and potatoes, sweetbread, prime rib, beef Wellington, wiener schnitzel, shrimp and grits, and German favorite, kasespatzle, which is a form of mac and cheese.
“Our menu is always fluid. There are certain things that are staples that you’ll always find, like the wiener schnitzel and shrimp and grits, but many of the items evolve as the seasons evolve and what’s available. You’ll find classic French and Belgian cuisine on the menu all the way to Ramen nights,” Mahoney said.
As the menu remains fluid, the same philosophy goes for the price points. “Our price points are very approachable, but you can also splurge if you want to. You can come and have something nice for dinner at $15-$16, or an entrée for $23-$24, or if you want to splurge, you can have rib eye that will be around $40. We are giving people options,” Mahoney said.
Beyond great food, Kummerspeck also offers cooking classes for large or small parties that can be customized based on what food items are available, as well as butcher classes! “Everyone can grab a knife, and we can go through the process of butchering an entire pig together,” Mahoney added.
Mahoney and Coit are also involved in exciting events showcasing their local cuisine and skills such as at Lettuce Be Local’s annual Local Farmer Dinner.
You can also find brunch at Kummerspeck for special occasions like Father’s Day, and plans to have brunch every weekend are in the works for the future. You can also book the entire space for private events.
For more information, visit Kummerspeck’s Facebook page.