The Mercantile Rooftop Debut, Beer Garden Re-Opening, Parklet, and Patios: Al Fresco Dining Is Back!
Get used to the fresh air! Worcester has extended its temporary outdoor dining program, first instituted during the pandemic, until April 1, 2023. Chashu Ramen’s picturesque parklet will reappear with the warm weather, as will outdoor seating at Fortissimo, Gong Cha, The Muse, and 110 Grill. In addition, the highly anticipated Mercantile Worcester bar and restaurant is now open for business, complete with 500 seats, two stories, and a rooftop patio offering views of Downtown. Guests can expect “New American Tavern Cuisine,” including brick oven pizza, burgers, and simple salads. We recommend making a reservation—The Mercantile Worcester has been packed every night since opening earlier this month. Just around the corner on Franklin Street, the Beer Garden is also set to reopen in May. Meet up for after-work beverages on the outdoor terrace or enjoy the game on a towering screen in the pavilion out back. Know someone looking for a summer gig? The Beer Garden is hiring front- and back-of-house workers for the upcoming season.
“Through the Glass” 
Local artists Sharinna Travieso and Amanda Santerre will be bringing their talents Downtown to 22 Portland Street and 15 Salem Street. Each will install a window display as part of the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District's "Through the Glass" storefront art program by early May, available for viewing through September 2022. The BID is grateful to receive a $5k grant from Worcester Arts Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, to make this project possible.
Pedestrian-Friendly Placemaking 
In partnership with the City of Worcester, the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID) was awarded a $75,000 Travel and Tourism Recovery Grant through the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism to implement a district branding and short-term, “tactical” pedestrian wayfinding initiative Downtown. This program will include street banners, temporary signage, digital advertising, and translation of the BID’s website to increase awareness of the diverse array of businesses and attractions available to visitors. Keep an eye out later this spring for eye-catching sidewalk and storefront window decals that point to Downtown restaurants, retail, and cultural destinations. The pilot wayfinding project is one of the priority plans conceived through the Downtown Worcester Rapid Recovery Plan
Adopt-an-Island Program
Who hasn’t dreamed of having their own island? If the Caribbean is out of your price range, start by setting your sights on Downtown Worcester. The BID now oversees the adopt-an-island program within our district boundaries, made possible by sponsorships from several local businesses.

Angelique Harvey, Marketing Specialist for Servpro, proudly shared, “We will be cleaning, weeding, laying down new weed control fabric, laying down fresh mulch and stone, and trimming existing shrubs.”

At BSC’s adopted island, landscape architect Case-Lee Bastien oversees the progressive development of sustainable native meadow plantings. Bastien’s process entails removing wind-pollinated weeds like mugwort and ragweed while retaining a native meadow mix of purple love grass, rye, native snapdragon windflower, and other self-seeding plants. As part of the project, the soils have been amended with soil-moist gel, allowing greater water retention and seed establishment. Downtown visitors will notice plenty of perennial flowers, which not only strengthen plantings but also provide a degree of pollution mitigation by binding or neutralizing plasticizers and metals from the roadway.

Other median sponsors include New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, LEI Inc., and MCPHS University.

Any company interested in sponsoring an island Downtown can contact the BID at info@downtownworcester.org.
March Street Report
Downtown Worcester Ambassadors worked over 850 hours to beautify Downtown in March. Did you know that littered cigarette butts leach toxic emissions such as lead, arsenic, and zinc into water and soil as they decompose, contributing to soil and water pollution and impacting wildlife habitats? Our ambassadors removed nearly 2,000 pounds of trash and 4,000 cigarette butts last month alone. Starting in April, Ambassadors have ramped up their spring/summer schedules to be available 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Save the Date:
May Community Meeting
Join us on Friday, May 13, from 9 to 10 a.m. for our monthly community meeting, held on Zoom. Based on survey results, we plan to alternate between in-person meetings and virtual presentations. This month we’re focusing on Downtown beautification efforts with the creator of our gorgeous hanging flower baskets and sidewalk planters, Ed Bemis from Bemis Farms Nursery, and horticulturist Amy Nyman from New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Ed’s team works and hear about planting and planning strategies and the importance of landscape in urban environments. Our meetings are always free and open to all. Register today!
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The focus of our Instagram page is to highlight the businesses and people of Downtown Worcester. Follow our page for our shop local/eat local series, community event announcements, did you know facts, and Downtown history.