October 12, 2018

Restaurants, brewery among those interested in Union Station space

Grant Welker
Worcester's Union Station is attracting new tenants, city officials say.

Four entities - largely food and beverage-based establishments - are expressing interest in Worcester's Union Station.

All four have written the city letters of interest for space in the transportation hub and terminus of the Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail, Chief Development Officer Michael Traynor told the Redevelopment Authority on Friday.

Since the August announcement of the Pawtucket Red Sox moving to Worcester by 2021, that interest has increased, Traynor said.

Traynor and other city officials would only disclose the identity of three parties. Another is being kept confidential, but Business and Community Development Coordinator Peter Dunn said the entity is the only to express interest in the space with a loading dock.

Those interested parties include the former owner of the Country Music Ranch & Saloon on James Street; Hadley-based vintage arcade, food and beverage establishment The Quarters and Worcester's Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. which is seeking a 2,100-square-foot space for a nanobrewery.

Broullon of Country Music Ranch & Saloon said he envisions a similar atmosphere to his former country music bar. He added he's also looking to serve breakfast during the morning commute and then switch to a full-service restaurant and bar for the remainder of the day and night.

Of The Quarters, Traynor said the city is looking to help the company build out its space, but didn't detail the exact amount needed.

Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. hopes to operate a satellite location for its Soul Purpose line, which it markets as a less-boozy alternative to its typical beers.

WRA member and attorney Michael Angelini cautioned that the city and WRA needs to form a process for vetting and selecting tenants.

"I don't think the place to start … is with taking the best lease we can get and making the most per square foot we can make," he said.

Dunn and Traynor said the city is awaiting a report from real estate firm Kelleher & Sadowsky on the best uses for the site, and the city is still waiting for the Cannabis Control Commission to make a decision on its Worcester headquarters. The commission is considering Union Station among 10 locations in Worcester.

Any lease will be held off until those two items are resolved, the planning officials said.

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Greater Good's interest in Union Station nanobrewery began two years ago


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