Valentino’s has ambitious plans for heart of Shrewsbury Street

By taking the best of what Restaurant Row has to offer — including an iconic location — and adding the charm of an Italian coffee bar, a new, family-owned, cafe-style “grab-and-go” restaurant is aiming to attract a distinct Shrewsbury Street demographic:

Everyone.

Valentino’s Press and Pour, which plans to open in May at 154 Shrewsbury St. (the former long-time home of dessert and coffee bar Cafe Dolce), will feature a full bar and cafe, lottery, tobacco products, and a variety of to-go items including coffee, ready-made sandwiches and desserts.

“This street is still growing and there’s nothing that caters to the masses,” said Joe Stake, a partner who will manage the restaurant and tend bar. “You have to go to different places if you want different things. The street is very segmented.

“So we’re trying to offer all of it under one roof.”

Courtesy Valentino's

Valentino’s plans an upscale and upbeat vibe … with scratch tickets and Bloody Mary’s too.

Stake’s cousin, Luke DeWolfe, bought the building in 2015. He renovated the attached three-decker and originally planned only to be a landlord for the cafe space. Now he’s staring down a mid-May soft opening of his own restaurant, with a full-scale grand opening planned for some time in June.

Editorial: Building a community with HOPE

As a society, our track record with at-risk youth is not good.

More than 16 million young people “never had an adult mentor of any kind … while growing up,” according to a 2014 study. “This population includes an estimated nine million at-risk youth who will reach age 19 without ever having a mentor and who are therefore less likely to graduate high school, go on to college, and lead healthy and productive lives,” according to the study.

The same study revealed a disturbing paradox “that the more risk factors a young person has, the less likely he or she is to have a naturally occurring mentor.”

In his paper “Designing Effective Mentoring Programs for Disadvantaged Youth,” Wellesley College Economics professor Phillip B. Levine studied school-based and community-based mentoring programs. He concluded “that a traditional mentoring program of the community-based type, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, is the approach most likely to be successful in improving subsequent labor market earnings among disadvantaged youth.”

These things together paint an extraordinary picture of the vital role youth workers play in the future of children and, by extension, our future as a society. Youth workers are our best chance, sometimes our only chance, to positively impact youth whose futures are at risk.

In this light we salute the HOPE Coalition and Clark University, which will sponsor the 13th annual Youth Worker Training Institute graduation on May 1.

Worcester Sun, April 19: Mariano on Petty’s PCBs response, Valentino’s vies for heart of Shrewsbury Street + more

It’s a jam-packed Wednesday, April 19, Worcester Sun. Get in there!

Jane Week in Worcester events, presented by Jane Jacobs in the Woo

Worcester Sun is a proud partner of Jane Week in Worcester. Here are all the Jane Week in Worcester events:

Inbox [April 16]: News and notes from WPI, Main IDEA, LIFT, YWCA, Clark and St. Peter-Marian

WPI lands $5M grant

The Baker-Polito Administration announced a $5 million matching grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to support the launch of a new landmark healthcare research and product development initiative called PracticePoint at WPI.

The award from MassTech’s Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program will match contributions from WPI and private sector stakeholders, including GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and fund new integrated research and development labs focused on the commercialization of secure healthcare devices and systems.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the grant at a ceremony in Worcester, alongside WPI President Laurie Leshin and Ann R. Klee, Vice President of Boston Development and Operations at GE.

“Imagine new ways to treat inoperable tumors, new systems that allow elders to remain at home safely, or smart devices that speed rehabilitative care — these are just some of the extraordinary technologies we hope will emerge when we bring together creative engineers, scientists and clinicians to work in the novel setting that PracticePoint provides,” Leshin said.

Worcester Sun, April 16-22: Mariano on A Better Life, Sunday conversation with Cliff Rucker, Mount Carmel crystal ball + much more

Worcester Sun is the proud media partner of Jane Week in Worcester — find out what that even means, and peruse a calendar of events. Plus lots of other good stuff, too, in your April 16-22 Worcester Sun.

Inbox [April 12]: Music Worcester showcases Bach, City that Reads starts book drive, Clark prof pens Nazi tome, YWCA offers domestic violence support, malls herald Caring Bunny

Music Worcester to host series of concerts in Salisbury Street Cultural District

Music Worcester brings BACHFEST, a series of five events over four days (April 20-23), to the cultural facilities of the newly designated Salisbury Cultural District in Worcester.

Connected by the music of J.S. Bach, these performances feature world-renowned instrumentalists Christian Tetzlaff, Sergey Antonov, Pamela Frank and Ilya Yakushev, and acclaimed vocal ensembles CONCORA and The Worcester Chorus.

While one event is sold out, and one event is accessible through regular admission to the Worcester Art Museum, the remaining events still have tickets available, with youth tickets (18 & under) at $7.50.

Worcester Sun, April 12: Step up for Worcester by stepping out + Hitch, Top 5 stories and more

State targets spending priorities and considers bill to keep pensions from teachers convicted on child porn charges. A free look into Worcester’s future. Inbox is full of news on Music Worcester, Clark, the YWCA. All that and more in your Wednesday, April 12, Worcester Sun.

Worcester Weekly: ArtWalk returns, Russians elect city venue + more to do, April 9-15

Sunday, April 9 — Canal District ArtWalk, noon-5 p.m., various locations, 50-96 Water St.  Just to be clear, if you’re planning to attend the season’s first of this popular monthly series you’ll be doing the walking; the art stays put — for the most part. Now that that’s out of the way, on to the really important details: More than 40 local artists, musicians, poets and street performers will be dotting the sidewalks; there will be a live art demonstration; henna and face painting; and even a Pawtucket Red Sox ticket giveaway.

Worcester Weekly: Pitch perfect! Cooperstown, Clark baseball … and a cappella, April 2-10

Monday, April 3 — Pruning Fruit Trees workshop, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Jaques Avenue Orchard, 9 Jaques Ave.  Trees have feelings too, you know! (Seriously, some experts believe they do.) So you can’t just go hacking away willy-nilly at the spindly, winter-ravaged limbs of the pear tree your grandmother made you plant in the backyard. No, you need expert hands to make sure your Boscs or Bartletts or Harrow Sweets will come back to you in late summer. That’s where the pros from Tower Hill Botanic Garden come in.

For $20 ($10 for Tower Hill members), “learn the best way to prune fruit trees for health and production.” With the unpredictable nature of New England weather and, well, nature, every little bit helps. Registration is required.

For more information

Tuesday, April 4 — Worcester is America! Opening Ceremony, 6 p.m., Saxe Room, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square  “Worcester is America” — well, I guess that would make for a better city slogan than “Come for the potholes, stay for the dual tax rate!”