New culinary spaces are experiencing activation throughout the region by major players from Worcester’s burgeoning food scene. Let’s start with simjang, the latest brainchild of deadhorse hill’s accomplished team. A friends and family opening on Monday revealed the 1928 Buick dealership under fresh minesweeper lights in true art deco fashion. The menu included Korean inspired easy-to-order, quickly prepared dishes as well as large format items for sharing. A chain link fence lay in wait of the March 1st opening. We’re getting our love locks ready and you should to; simjang promises a torrid Worcester romance at 72 Shrewsbury Street.

Executive Chef Jared Forman standing behind the raw bar display at simjang on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA (Erb Photo for Mass Foodies)

Executive Chef Jared Forman standing behind the raw bar display at simjang on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA (Erb Photo for Mass Foodies)

Armsby Abbey countered simjang’s locks with keys of their own. A Facebook post from the owners picturing a set of keys indicated that licenses had been approved and a lease signed on Main Street in Hudson—called Cónico. The announcement of Armsby’s second restaurant came on the heels of their 8th consecutive ‘Great American Beer Bars’ honor as the Best Beer Bar in Massachusetts by CraftBeer.com. Downtown Hudson has experienced tremendous economic growth in the last few years with the arrival of tastemakers like Rail Trail Flatbread Co., New City Microcreamery, Less Than Greater Than, Medusa Brewing Company, and Amy Lynn Chase’s retail destination, The Haberdash.

Armsby Abbey might have its sights set on Hudson, but their flagship establishment will continue to shine as Main Street in Worcester makes its transformation into a densely populated neighborhood. A walkable, vibrant vision is afoot downtown on account of new development and Mark Gallant of The Dogfather knows it. Gallant is establishing “Food Truck Row,” a destination which will host a minimum of five vendors during lunch every Monday through Saturday, with the capacity for up to ten trucks. General attendance and parking will be free beginning on March 5th in the municipal parking lot at 40 Highland Street, directly behind the Worcester Memorial Auditorium. Beyond simply satisfying our appetites, food trucks have major spatial benefits which impact our ability to activate blank territories throughout the city. Gallant is organizing the first official Food Truck Throw Down, scheduled for May 5th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Green Hill Park. Mass Foodies’ own Giselle Rivera-Flores will serve as a judge. Check out her #SundayFunday series for a taste of her sensibilities. This month, she highlighted local favorites: The Hangover Pub, El Patron, and Carl’s Oxford Diner.

Local natural food stores and ethnic markets have persevered in the wake of last month’s Whole Foods. Living Earth has evolved with an increase in prepared foods as well as added cafe seating. Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace is busier than ever, despite the saddening blow of Ed Hyder’s recent passing on February 5th. Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace continues to be a true family business, invigorated by the dedication of the Hyder children. Ed Hyder will be remembered in our neighborhoods, kitchens, and hearts.

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