Deadhorse hill plans to open a new restaurant in 2017 at the former home of Sweet Kitchen & Bar (72 Shrewsbury Street). The concept, co-owners Jared Forman, Sean Woods, and Albert LaValley told Mass Foodies, is inspired by Korean culture and cuisine. The restaurant will be called simjang.
Brazilian Artist, Arlin Graff, painted the striking Pow!Wow! mural adjacent to deadhorse hill’s Main Street space, which has become synonymous with the restaurant. Graff was spotted coming in and out of 72 Shrewsbury Street earlier this month, and although he was tight lipped about his “secret project” for Woods and Forman, Graff was thrilled to be back in Worcester. “Some cities are hard to return to after you have completed a wall, but I’m so happy to be back here,” Graff said, adding, “Worcester has a great heart.” Consequently, the word “simjang” means “heart” in Korean.
“Worcester is known as the Heart of the Commonwealth, and we want this restaurant to be attached to our community in the same vein,” Forman explains. “This city is where things used to happen and where so much is happening once again. Excitement and growth is pulsing through Worcester, and we love continuing to be a part of it by sharing one of our favorite cuisines with the neighborhood. We want simjang to be a place you can have fun, get messy, learn something new, and indulge.”
Forman and Woods have rapidly transformed Worcester’s culinary scene, drawing visitors from all over New England for the chef’s tasting menu, which speaks proudly of the seasons. Forman spent time at some of the nation’s top restaurants including Per Se, momofuku Ssäm Bar, Gramercy Tavern, and Strip T’s in Boston, where the duo met. Woods is a veteran of Craigie on Main, Strip T’s, and ribelle, all in Boston.
The new concept will offer easy-to-order items that are quickly prepared, an attractive option for on-the-go patrons at neighboring Wormtown Brewery. Along with Graff’s heartfelt mural, simjang’s interior will feature a space for love locks akin to many of the world’s most famous pedestrian bridges.
Mass Foodies first observed Executive Chef Jared Forman exploring the new concept earlier in the spring with the launch of a late night menu featuring Korean Style Chicken Wings and other casual bites. The dish included artisanal gochujang sauce called Rhei-Maid, favored by many of Boston’s top chefs. Rhei-Maid is a fermented pepper paste that carries a subtle spice along with light floral notes, produced by a friend of Forman’s from New Jersey. For his Korean Style Chicken Wings, Forman uses a blend of four flours and fries the wings twice for a crackly skin that stays crunchy for hours. The evening the Korean staple premiered on deadhorse’s menu, Forman promised Mass Foodies, “There is no other wing like it in Worcester.” Simjang will change that, allowing Forman’s broad culinary experience to sail a mile across town.