Local Business Spotlight: Shanty hopes to catch on to Shrewsbury Street dining scene

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What do a civil engineer and a partner in the biotech industry have in common? Two successful restaurants in the heart of Worcester and the debut of their newest venture: Somethin’ Catchy Seafood Shanty at 358 Shrewsbury St.

For many, a job loss can be a damaging event, but for Rose-Ellen Padavano, the loss of her job in biotech was a moment of inspiration; a moment that became life-defining and led her to the road less traveled: entrepreneurship.

Rose-Ellen Padavano, left, and Angela Padavano recently opened Somethin' Catchy on Shrewsbury Street.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Rose-Ellen Padavano, left, and Angela Padavano recently opened Somethin’ Catchy on Shrewsbury Street.

“I have always loved to cook. I love people. I love to entertain,” says Padavano. “So, when I was laid off, I was 34 years old at the time and just went with the idea.”

That idea turned into a string of restaurants in under six years with her business partner, Angela Padavano.

In 2010, at the brink of her career change, Rose-Ellen, with zero restaurant experience, took the fast track to restaurant ownership with the opening of Rosalina’s Kitchen at 83 Hamilton St. A BYOB restaurant with a welcoming feel, Rosalina’s Kitchen received the thumbs up from the community and none other than the Phantom Gourmet.

“I’m self-taught. I have never worked in a restaurant as a waitress or a cook or even as a hostess,” says Rose-Ellen.

Now, with two restaurants already in place — including Padavano’s Place, two doors down in the same plaza — starting a third seemed downright logical.

“We wanted to continue the trend and open something new in Worcester. We said, what does Worcester need? We realized that unless you want to go to your local pizza shop on a Friday night, there really isn’t a place to grab some great fish and chips. We wanted to create a place where we can become the experts in the market,” says Rose-Ellen.

As for a fourth, Rose-Ellen said the Padavano’s are simply focused on getting the shanty seaworthy.

There's a distinct new entry on the Shrewsbury Street dining scene.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

There’s a distinct new entry on the Shrewsbury Street dining scene.

Somethin’ Catchy, which opened Tuesday, Nov. 24, already has Worcester natives hooked.

Walk into the eatery and you may feel the need to exchange your suit and tie for some shorts and flip-flops. This isn’t your average Shrewsbury Street dine-in experience.

The atmosphere is surf and turf, with a sandbox and aquarium for the kids to enjoy while the parents order off the menu offering a line of seafood mainstays, from lobster rolls to whole-belly clams.

If the endless seafood options weren’t enough, Somethin’ Catchy also serves fried dough – a beach snack bar classic.

With sand in between your toes, a large mural mirroring the famous “Great Wave of Kanagawa” painting by Japanese artist Hokusai, and the instant smell of fried dough, it seems that Somethin’ Catchy is only missing one thing: the summer breeze.

Offering everyday freshness, Somethin’ Catchy prides itself on working with local businesses such as Union Station Farms and ensuring that only the best lobsters are delivered directly from Maine.

Supporting the buy-local movement, the shanty owners are committed to making their customers as happy as clams. With the holy trinity – fried haddock, hand-cut onion rings and homemade fries – Somethin’ Catchy stands as the only pebble on the beach.

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