WORCESTER — A dining shakeup is coming to buildings associated with the Worcester Railers Hockey Club.
Bay State Brewing Co. is moving into the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center in the city’s Canal District, taking over space previously occupied by Nonna’s Pizza & Pasta restaurant. Nonna’s was operated by Niche Hospitality Group, a Worcester restaurant operator.
“We are excited to expand our footprint to the greater Worcester area and feel that the Canal District is the perfect place to set up shop with all the activity in the surrounding area. We are excited about our partnership with the Ice Center and the Worcester Railers and look to providing craft beer lovers with a destination to enjoy our craft beer,” said Bay State Brewing co-founder Shawn Rich in a news release.
Bay State Brewing was founded in 2012 by Mr. Rich and Chip Jarry in Leicester. The beer is produced in Western Massachusetts.
Nonna’s Pizza & Pasta opened in 2017 when the Worcester Ice Center, owned by Cliff Rucker, opened on Harding Street. The restaurant closed for the season in April and was scheduled to reopen in Aug. 19.
In addition, Niche will change the “dining and bar concept” at Railers Tavern, 90 Commercial St. The restaurant has previously had a sports theme, but memorabilia in the tavern will go to decorate the new Bay State Brewing space at the ice center, the Railers said in a news announcement. The Worcester Railers hockey team and the Railers Tavern are owned by Mr. Rucker.
“With the changing landscape of downtown Worcester, we wanted to create a crafted kitchen and cocktail bar that will be reminiscent of Still & Stir and The Citizen,” said Niche owner Michael Covino.
The Citizen Wine Bar, the People’s Kitchen and Still & Stir, all located at 1 Exchange Place near the Railers Tavern building, closed Jan. 1, 2018. Niche Hospitality Group operated all three businesses. The Citizen opened in 2008, focusing on wine, cheese and chocolate. The People’s Kitchen dining room was added in 2010, and a cocktail room called Still & Stir was created in 2012. The building at 1 Exchange Place is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.