Bushel N Peck spreads to Westborough, tweaks the menu

For decades Bushel N Peck has maintained its perch among the city’s go-to sandwich shops. And now, 37 years after the Oliveri family opened the first store in Tatnuck Square and after new owner Michael Bartosiewicz added locations in Grafton and Clinton, Bushel N Peck is on the verge of opening its fifth storefront in Westborough.

The Muse is inspired to remain a part of Worcester’s downtown revival

Coming to Federal Square during the much-ballyhooed “downtown renaissance,” The Muse owners John Rinaldo and Matt Kingman set forth to be a part of the bigger picture. Cultivating a brand based on the anticipated vibes of new visitors and returning friends with hip cocktails and craft beer, The Muse has added something flagrantly unique to the urban lifestyle trend.

Worcester Railers tracking rare sellout to open inaugural season

In their nine seasons of existence, the Worcester Sharks never sold out the DCU Center. The closest the American Hockey League club ever came to a sellout was in February 2012, when the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski spiked a puck at center ice. Even that spectacle left the crowd more than 2,000 tickets short of a packed house.

The Sharks’ AHL predecessor, the Worcester IceCats, did slightly better. The team registered two sellouts, both in 1995, during its decade in the city.

Attendance declined in each of the Sharks’ final three seasons in Worcester. In the club’s final season here before moving to California in 2014-15, the average paid attendance was 3,847, which ranked in the bottom third of the AHL.

The NHL’s San Jose Sharks didn’t move their AHL affiliate out of Worcester because of attendance issues. They wanted their minor-league team to join them on the West Coast. But there weren’t many Worcester fans showing up to prove they wanted the team to stay, either.

Rich LeBlanc / Worcester Railers HC

Chris Langkow is a 28-year-old forward from Canada who last season played for a now-defunct Slovenian team in the Austrian Hockey League.

This week, professional hockey returns to Central Massachusetts for the first time in more than two years. The Worcester Railers open their first season as an ECHL (formerly East Coast Hockey League) expansion team on Saturday, Oct. 14, when they host the Manchester Monarchs.

The Railers hope that in one game, they can achieve what the Sharks never did and fill the 12,316-seat DCU Center.

Bushel N Peck spreads to Westborough, tweaks the menu

For decades, despite an ownership change in 2005, Bushel N Peck has maintained its perch among the city’s go-to sandwich shops, churning out classic, lunchtime favorites with an old-school American deli sensibility.

And now, 37 years after the Oliveri family opened the first store in Tatnuck Square and after new owner Michael Bartosiewicz added locations in Grafton (2013) and Clinton (2015), Bushel N Peck is on the verge of opening its fifth storefront in Westborough on a bustling stretch of Route 30.

(Then known as Elsa’s Bushel N Peck, the second shop opened in The Summit, on East Mountain Street, in 1990.)

“With the economy growing, we are trying to tap into those new customers,” said Bartosiewicz, a longtime employee of the Oliveri family who bought the business from Tom Sr. and Elsa in 2005. “We want to keep improving and we want to offer new exciting items to maintain our reputation in the community and stay up-to-date with the changing times.

Recalde’s Sidewalk Café is an unexpected slice of home

With salsa music playing in the background, the sounds of the Spanish language lingering in the air and the open-arms welcome from their employees, Recalde’s Sidewalk Café, open since February, is all about the Spanish culture. It’s an effort embracing and elevating the feeling of eating at abuela’s house.

Worcester Weekly: Oktoberfest, Worcester State football + more, Sept. 24-30

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Tuesday, Sept. 26 — Architectural Scavenger Hunt, 5-7:30 p.m., Leo’s Ristorante, 11 Leo Turo Way  There are so many new buildings going up in Worcester, it can be easy to forget about the treasure trove of historic, intriguing and captivating old buildings that continue to lend character, culture and rising heating bills to every hilly neighborhood and winding one-way street in the city.

POW! WOW! Worcester, a photo essay [Part 1]

Don’t have time for a leisurely stroll around the whole 38 square miles of the city to see the more than 40 murals left behind by the talented artists who participated in the second annual event?

The Worcester Sun, in partnership with @igworcesterma and Jaime Flores Photography (check out their website here), has you covered. And check back with the Sun in the next couple of editions to see the city’s newest works of art through the unique perspective of Jaime and friends.

A Mother’s Journey: The gentrification exasperation

Editor’s note: Since September 2015, Worcester Sun has chronicled the trials and triumphs of Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores as she explores ways to help her daughter and other Worcester families find affordable educational support and assistance. We used to describe her as an aspiring business owner; now, she’s an inspiring one. During her journey to establish and grow her nonprofit tutoring collaborative she has, you could say, stepped beyond the walls of her dream.

Giselle Rivera-Flores

It seems obvious to me that when a city clusters industry-specific small businesses into an area of close proximity, the community experiences growth at a faster rate. It is the underlying strategy for increasing productivity, innovation and success.

Small businesses benefit from their neighbors in a relationship that promotes the exchange and sharing of marketing, skilled workforce and technologies. As cities grow, there should be an integrated strategy for the development of small businesses and not just an emphasis on larger developments, brands and infrastructure buildout.

In December 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a report, “Smart Growth and Economic Success: Benefits for Real Estate Developers, Investors, Businesses, and Local Governments,” outlining the importance of smart growth development. The concept integrates “compact and walkable” with providing “a diverse range of choices in land uses, building types, transportation, homes, workplace locations and stores.”

The report states that “by locating businesses closer together, compact development can create a density of employment that increases economic productivity and attracts additional investment.” And of course, it makes logical sense to do so.

When I drive through high-density small-business areas, like those in Main South, I do not see the implementation of logical strategies such as that of compact development from city investment, but instead, I see it through the relationships among the existing businesses.

Read Giselle’s previous chapter, The gauntlet of transitions, or scroll down to explore more of her story.