Comedy-club manager to open WooHaHa! downtown Jan. 18


Article by Richard Duckett

WORCESTER — John Tobin once ran the room at the comedy club at the former Aku-Aku restaurant on East Central Street in the mid-1990s and was happy to do it. It was a commute from West Roxbury for Tobin, but comedy always had a big pull for the Boston native. Tobin’s first job in comedy was as a doorman at a comedy club. “I would have worked for free. I always loved comedy,” he said.

Along the way, he also dreamed of being mayor of Boston. That’s not a joke. Tobin was elected to five terms on the Boston City Council. He is first vice president for city and community affairs at Northeastern University. But Tobin has also established quite a big name for himself on the Boston comedy scene.

Now he’s heading west again, and it is a laughing matter. “Worcester’s a great comedy city,” Tobin said.

As the owner of John Tobin Presents, Tobin will be operating and booking acts at the WooHaHa! Comedy Club at 50 Franklin St., which is scheduled to open Jan. 18 with featured comedian Paul Mecurio (numerous appearances on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”). Meanwhile, Jan. 4 will see the debut of Roar! Comedy Club in the Armory at MGM Springfield, which John Tobin Presents will produce and book shows for. Comedian Roy Wood Jr. opens.

Among other comedy clubs John Tobin Presents also operates and books are Laugh Boston and Nick’s Comedy Stop in Boston, and The Comedy Scene at Patriot Place in Foxboro.

At WooHaHa! in the Grid District the 130-seat comedy club will be alongside the new Revolution Pie + Pint and Craft Table & Bar.

Read the full article here.

From fast-casual to upscale, Worcester is getting these new restaurants and a 5th brewery in 2019


Full article by Aviva Luttrell |
Big changes are happening in Worcester, and the city’s dining scene is no exception.

From a new artisanal butcher shop and coffee roastery to a fastcasual
Chipotle Mexican Grill and Dairy Queen, there’s no shortage of eateries that have had their eyes on Worcester. In 2019, the city — which has been in is in the midst of a renaissance of dining and development will become home to a slew of new establishments. At least 14 restaurants, cafes and breweries are planning to open their doors throughout the city this year.

Here’s what you can expect to see in 2019:
Revolution Pie + Pint
This pizza joint is coming to the city’s downtown Grid District on Jan. 18. Revolution Pie + Pint t gets its name from the revolving pizza oven that cooks its pizzas at 850 degrees in less than two minutes. Diners can order custom pies or select one of the eatery’s signature pizzas.

The Worcester location will offer pies like the Becker pizza, featuring buffalo sauce, roasted chicken breast, mozzarella blend and red onion, and the City Hall pizza, featuring apple cider BBQ, smoked pulled pork, caramelized onion, cubed bacon and mozzarella blend.

And as its name suggests, the restaurant’s second claim to fame is its beverages. The location will have a number of local and regional craft beers on tap.

Craft Table & Bar
Craft Table & Bar, which already has a location in East Boston, is coming to Worcester Jan. 18 with polished casual cuisine.

Opening on Franklin Street in the lower level of the Bancroft Building, the restaurant will offer craft beer, wines, spirits and innovative dishes prepared from a scratch kitchen. Menu options will range from roasted lamb lollipops with mint infused demiglaze to lobster claw meat in a tomato vodka alfredo with fresh cavatappi pasta.

Brew Beer Garden in Grid District to open Friday


Article in the WBJournalThe Brew Beer Garden, the long anticipated beer garden in the Grid District, has released its list of 40 beers on tap as it ramps up for its Friday opening.

The beer is sourced from all over the world, but only one – Hopulence from Shrewsbury Street’s Wormtown Brewery – comes from Worcester. None of the three other operating breweries in the city have a beer at the city’s newest beverage spot.

Of the 40 beers, 14 are brewed in the state. Framingham brewery Jack’s Abby Brewing Co. is the only other Central Massachusetts brewer to have a spot on the list with its Hoponius Union IPL.

The beer garden plans to be open from spring to fall and include live music, a house DJ and a dance floor.The Brew Beer Garden, which replaces a former cinema at 64-66 Franklin St., will have a partly-covered outdoor terrace that’s slated to be open three seasons of the year, thanks to fire pits and heaters.

Then & Now: 50 Franklin St., Worcester


Article by Melissa McKeon
This site was once the first home of Notre Dame des Canadiens, the mother church of the French Canadian immigrant population of Worcester. A few years after a fire in 1908 destroyed the church, 50 Franklin St. became the site of what was once considered the most luxurious hotel in the city, the center of all social life.

The 10-story building, built at a cost of more than $1 million (nearly $30 million today) as the Bancroft Hotel, was in the classic Beaux Arts style, and the facade remains hardly altered today.

Its grandeur was not just vested in its style. The size, as well, was daunting: 225 hotel rooms, planned for expansion. The hotel must have had little trouble filling those rooms, for it was expanded to the rear, along Portland Street, in 1925. In what might be a tale of the temporal compared to the spiritual, the Bancroft Building has survived changes of fortune and has been transformed into residential use on its upper floors while commercial use on the ground floor has gone on with little interruption.

Notre Dame des Canadiens, however, has not fared as well. The new church, built just across the common in 1929, lasted only until 2007 as a congregation, and the building now faces demolition. Efforts to preserve it and its reminders of an immigrant past have not been successful. Commercial use of the property as part of the City Square II redevelopment will dominate that corner of Worcester Common, and the second Notre Dame church will likely grace this column someday.

Your Guide to Universities in Worcester, MA


When it comes to four-year colleges and universities,Worcester has an impressive list to choose from. Here is a quick guide to these great local universities.

Assumption College

Since 1904, Assumption College has been educating minds while nurturing the spirit. This institution is known today as a top New England Catholic college. Assumption offers liberal arts and science programs.

Becker College

Founded in 1887, Becker’s philosophy is to equip students to contribute to a global society. The on-campus learning experience encompasses academic excellence, creative expression, and social responsibility.

Clark University

Empowering students to make a difference is what Clark is all about. In 2015 Forbes ranked it the 16th most entrepreneurial research university in America.

College of the Holy Cross

Holy Cross boasts a well-educated faculty, with 96 percent holding doctoral degrees. Founded in 1843, the college honors its Jesuit heritage.

University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester

UMMS is a pioneer in education and research. U.S. News & World Report recognizes the university as a leading medical school for primary care education.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

The Wall Street Journal rated WPI as a top school for classroom teaching and scholarly research. Founded in 1865, the institute focuses on science and engineering.

Worcester State College

Working to get students career ready, Worcester State is known as one of the safest colleges in America. It’s also recognized for its environmental responsibility.