January 8, 2018
WBJ 2018 Best of Business

Best of Business: Best Places for Drinks in 2018

Armsby Abbey was voted the Best After-Work Bar in Worcester.

Best Local Brewery

Wormtown Brewery

Worcester, www.wormtownbrewery.com

Top executives: David Fields, managing partner; Ben Roesch, brewmaster & founder

Founded: 2010

Employees: 27 full-time, 9 part-time

Read more: Wormtown Brewery partners keep their love of beer

Notable runner-up: Tree House Brewing Co.

Best Locally Owned Place to Meet for Coffee

BirchTree Bread Company*

Worcester, www.birchtreebreadcompany.com

Top executives: Owners Robert Fecteau & Avra Hoffman

Founded: 2014

Employees: 30

Hoffman and Fecteau know their concept – naturally leavened bread, espresso, sandwiches and pizza sourced from local wholesome ingredients – is not original, so they created a community space atmosphere, with live music and continuously changing artwork.

Notable runners-up: InHouse Coffee, The Queen's Cups, Brew on the Grid

Best Worcester After-Work Bar

Armsby Abbey*

Worcester, www.armsbyabbey.com

Top executive: Sarah DeVardo, assistant general manager

Founded: 2008

Employees: 45

Armsby is one of the pioneers of both the Worcester craft beer scene and its farm-to-table cuisine movement. Its success boils down to its hiring practices, where employees operate under high expectations in the multi-faceted, complex restaurant.

Notable runners-up: Boynton Restaurant & Spirits, Nick's Bar & Restaurant, Ralph's Rock Diner

Best Metrowest After-Work Bar

Tavern in the Square*

Northborough, taverninthesquare.com/northborough/info

Top executive: Stephen DeSousa, owner & CEO

Founded: 2004 (Northborough location: 2014)

Employees: 70

Offering 50 beers on tap, craft cocktails and food made from scratch, Tavern in the Square is designed with expansive bar and lounge areas for the after-work crowd and a dining room for families.

Notable runners-up: Jack's Abby beer hall, Arturo's Ristorante, Medusa Brewing Co.

Best North County After-Work Bar

Rye & Thyme American Tavern*

Leominster, www.ryeandthyme.com

Top executive: President Michael Covino

Founded: 2012

Employees: 35

Rye & Thyme uses signature menu items, atmosphere and enhanced hospitality to provide a memorable experience for guests. The tavern employees strive to demonstrate graciousness, efficiency, knowledge, professionalism and integrity in their work.

Notable runners-up: The GazBar Sports Grille, Slattery's Restaurant, Clinton's Bar & Grille

Best Blackstone Valley After-Work Bar

Hunter's Grille & Tap at The Grafton Inn

Grafton, thegraftoninnma.com

Top executive: James Hunter, owner

Founded: 2015

Employees: 25

The full-service restaurant focuses on freshly prepared comfort foods, craft cocktails, great wine and hard-to-find craft beers.

Notable runners-up: The Post Office Pub, Red Rock Grill & Bar, Gray Barn

Best Central Mass. South After-Work Bar

Cedar Street Grille*

Sturbridge, www.cedarstreetgrille.com

Top executive: Head Chef Nick Faucher

Founded: 2011

Employees: 40 (2017 figure)

Offering hand-crafted cocktails and microbrews at a cozy bar, Cedar Street provides a casual, neighborhood atmosphere with a menu featuring small plates, sliders and seasonal entrees.

Notable runners-up: Firebrands Bar & Grill, Teddy G's Pub & Grille

Click below to see the other 2018 Best of Business winners:

Best Professional Services

  • Best Bank - UniBank*
  • Best Architectural Firm - Lamoureux Pagano & Associates
  • Best Credit Union - DCU – Digital Federal Credit Union*
  • Best Business Insurance Agency - Sullivan Insurance Group*
  • Best Law Firm - Mirick O'Connell*
  • Best Accounting Firm - Bollus Lynch, LLP Certified Public Accountants & Consultants*
  • Best Advertising Agency - Davis Advertising

Best Employee Services

  • Best College for Business Education - Nichols College*
  • Best Financial Planning/Investment Services - Provo Wealth Management Group*
  • Best Employee Benefits Consultant - Sullivan Benefits*
  • Best Luxury Automobile Dealership - Wagner Auto Group*
  • Best Limousine Services - Knight's Airport Limousine Service*
  • Best Health Insurance Provider - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts*
  • Best Young Professionals Network - YPWA (Young Professional Women's Association) of Worcester

Best Food & Entertainment

  • Best Restaurant for Business Lunch - The Sole Proprietor*
  • Best Restaurant for Business Dinner - 111 Chop House*
  • Best Caterer for a Corporate Event - Pepper's Artful Events*
  • Best Coffee Service - Good as Gold*
  • Best Exercise Facility/Fitness Center - Worcester Fitness
  • Best Public Golf Course - Green Hill Golf Course*
  • Best Private Golf Course - Worcester Country Club*

Best Office Services

  • Best Commercial Real Estate Brokerage - NAI Glickman, Kovago & Jacobs
  • Best Commercial Landscaper - Cheaper than the Kid Next Door Landscaping
  • Best Electrical Contractor - Coghlin Electrical Contractors Inc.*
  • Best Plumber/HVAC Contractor - JJ Bafaro Inc.*
  • Best Waste Removal - E.L. Harvey & Sons, Inc.*
  • Best Office Cleaning - Eagle Cleaning Corp.*
  • Best Staffing Agency - The Davis Companies*

Best Events & Venues

  • Best Golf Club for Corporate Outing - Cyprian Keyes Golf Club*
  • Best Venue for a Business Meeting - Beechwood Hotel*
  • Best Venue for a Corporate Event - Mechanics Hall*
  • Best Event Production Company - Revelation Productions
  • Best Nonprofit Fundraiser Event - March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction
  • Best Hotel for Business Clients - Beechwood Hotel*
  • Best Venue for an Employee Outing - EcoTarium*

Best Multimedia Services

  • Best Awards & Promotional Products - Engraveables*
  • Best Sign Company - Sunshine Sign Company
  • Best Commercial Printer - Curry Printing*
  • Best IT Services - Cinch IT
  • Best Internet Service Provider - Charter Spectrum*
  • Best Web Design Firm - Applied Interactive
  • Best Video Production - Pagano Media*

* Denotes repeat winner


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