WORCESTER – Worcester’s classic college bar is hosting a grand reopening Wednesday night to celebrate the establishment’s new management.

Leitrim’s Pub, a staple in Worcester for decades, is still under the previous ownership group, but will now be run by Vincent Mineo and Emilie Courtney, who have applied to transfer the bar’s liquor license in their names and are working to take over full ownership later this winter.

Tonight’s grand reopening starts at 7 PM. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details on the plans for Leitrim’s from ThisWeekinWorcester.com.

WORCESTER – On Sunday afternoon, Worcester Police officers were called to TD Bank North at 295 Park Ave for a report of an armed robbery. This is the third reported bank robbery on Park Ave. in less than two weeks.

According to the WPD, the suspect entered the store, went up a to a teller and passed a note demanding money. The suspect threatened to shoot the tellers if they didn’t give him the money. He took the cash and fled on foot.

The suspect was described as a white male in his thirties or forties with light hair, light eyes and glasses. .

This investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information about this incident they can send an anonymous text to 274637 TIPWPD + your message or send an anonymous web based message at worcesterma.gov/police. Calls can also be made to the Worcester Police Detective Bureau at (508) 799-8651.

WORCESTER – For the second time this month, a bank was robbed on Park Avenue in Worcester.

On Monday afternoon, Worcester Police officers responded to Country Bank at 278 Park Ave for a report of an unarmed robbery. According to the WPD, the suspect was described by bank tellers as a “white male, approximately 45 to 50 years old, 5’8” or 5’9” tall, medium complexion, clean shaven, approached the counter and handed a note demanding cash. No weapon was mentioned or seen. The clerk provided the suspect with an undisclosed amount of money.”

Witnesses told the officers that the suspect walked in calmly directly to the counter, received the cash and walked right out with raising any kind of commotion or suspicion. The suspect was last seen heading south on Park Avenue on foot.



On Nov. 2, the Santander bank at 665 Park Ave was robbed in a similar fashion. As of now, there is no reported connection to the pair of robberies.

This investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information about this incident they can send an anonymous text to 274637 TIPWPD + your message or send an anonymous web based message at worcesterma.gov/police. Calls can also be made to the Worcester Police Detective Bureau at (508) 799-8651.

It was 2007 when Cactus Pete hopped on his pony and rode into the sunset down Park Ave in Worcester for the last time. Since then, many have wondered what happened to the man they grew to love, who seemingly went out to pasture before his time.

“You gotta git out when the gittin’ is still good,” said Cactus Pete as he swigged from a large frosted mug of Budweiser.

I remember it like it was 10 years ago,” Pete said as he dug into a large heaping pile of Tater Shavers. “Pickins were gittin slim and it was only a matter of time before me and Tortilla Sam was gunna have at it. There just wasn’t room for the two of us. I called for a duel on the corner of Park Ave and Highland Street but Sam, that yella belly, never showed.”

Things only got worse after that as the rivalry began to reach a tipping point. “I heard Tortilla Sam’s place was BYOB, so I showed up. And I, sure as day, brought my own bugle. I played Reveille over and over again until a group of mustachioed teenagers drinking Natural Ice started throwing quesadillas at me. I thought that was the end of it, I saw him fleeing south of the border on his donkey towards Auburn or Millbury.”

Unfortunately for Pete, that was not nearly the end of it. “So one day I comes walkin’ in and don’t I see that over-sized sombrero wearin’ Tortilla Sam sittin’ at the bar. I headed to the back of my place to break the six shooters out of the glass case that every kid ever looked at when they came in, and on my way back there I slipped. I slipped on a damn peanut shell. That no goodin’ two timer started throwing peanut shells ALL OVER THE FLOOR! And then everyone else in the place kept doing it, like it was normal, like that was just a thing you do.”

“I’ll admit it, Sam got me with that dang peanut shell thing. Can you imagine having to clean up peanut shells nonstop 24/7, it drove me nuts and I had to leave.” 

As for their relationship now? “AI still don’t like him, but in 2013 he ended up buying a place right down the street from me here in Arizona. I’d like to think my bugle playing had something to do with it.”

There’s a little hidden gem over on Park Ave. camouflaged in plain sight. I never gave this place any thought until a good friend mentioned he had stopped there and grabbed some lunch and raved about how good the sandwich was.

The Sandwich Hut is one of those places you’ve driven by thousands of times, but didn’t realize was ever open, and by their looks you probably couldn’t imagine it offered up anything worth the time it takes to pull in and out of a busy intersection on Park Ave.

Lucky for you, I’m here so you don’t have to. This place is definitely worth the frustration of pulling onto Park Ave. This place is so good, it’s worth doing laps around Kelley square during rush hour!

I got there around noon, and before even getting out of my truck I knew that this place was going to be delicious. There was a police cruiser sitting in the spot next to me, and everyone knows that if the WPD eats there than the food has to be good! The parking lot was pretty busy and there were already a few people waiting for their orders, and some people were sitting down at the picnic tables enjoying their lunch.

Even though it reads like your normal sub shop, the menu at the Sandwich Hut is pretty big and is actually quite impressive. After studying the menu and going back in forth in my head I decided to order the Steak Bomb with a side of parmesan garlic fries. You can get their steak bomb with either shaved ribeye steak or steak tips. I went with the ribeye.

It took about fifteen minutes to get my order, pay and grab a seat at one of the open picnic tables. I was very impressed by the presentation of my sandwich, and my mouth was practically watering at the smell of those Parmesan garlic hand cut french fries.

The steak was unbelievable — cut great, with very limited fat, and no gristle. It came sauteed with portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, red peppers and topped with fontina cheese served on a soft ciabatta roll.

As with any steak and cheese I braced myself for that first bite when inevitably half the sandwich falls apart and a stream of grease pours out. It never came. This was one of the cleanest “messy” sandwiches I’ve ever ate.

Straight from the horse’s mouth — those Parmesan garlic hand cut fries are AMAZING! Covered in Parmesan and just the right amount of garlic flavor. I’d go back just for an order of those!

The Bottom Line:


The specialty sandwiches range from a homemade Cuban, to a braised pork Banh Mi, Steak bombs, Gyros, and sandwiches like a Greek style burrito. They offer burgers and salads and a few other sandwich options. There roast beef is marinated in rosemary and garlic and slow roasted to a perfect pink center. They have a three cheese grilled cheese with options like like fontina and fresh mozzarella. Small things like this really go a long way in distinguishing your restaurant. Being creative and paying attention to detail is a chef’s number one priority if he wants to set his food apart and stand out.


Definitely order ahead if you’re in a rush. This is pretty much restaurant style quality — not a neighborhood pizza place. You can also order online, and they even offer a 10% discount on online pickup orders.


The only problem with this place is its location. Situated on the corner of Pleasant and Park Ave.. it’s kind of a hassle depending on which direction you’re going. My other gripe about this place is if you’re not going to eat it right there, or in the front seat of your Toyota Camry, I can guarantee that by the time you get back to the office you’re going to have a soggy bun and some limp french fries. Good news — out of all the buns they could have chosen most sandwiches come on a ciabatta roll. Ciabatta holds up well in terms of a steam bath during transportation in a To-Go box. Hand cut fries? Not so much.


The prices are great. This spot is a real bargain. Restaurant style quality without the gratuity and hassle of sitting down for lunch — just awesome.  Something that I personally admire about this place is: You can add a side of hand cut fries or housemade potato chips to any sandwich for 2$ and all their drinks are a dollar! That’s a steal!


Besides the location factor, I think the other thing that’s been hindering business is that most patrons don’t know what’s occupying the small hut “this month”. Although it’s been there for over a year now, it seems like this location has gone through a few different businesses over the past few years. There was a chicken wing place there for a hot minute, a different sub shop, a hot dog and sausage grab and go, and who knows what else. I sincerely hope that this place lasts a lot longer than all those other “fly by nights,” especially since it’s been open for over a year and I just discovered how good it was this week!

WORCESTER – Walking down Shrewsbury Street late last Thursday night, this reporter couldn’t help but notice how quiet it was, how few people were out walking around, and how each bar and restaurant passed was practically empty.

It was a relatively warm night, and college was already back in session — a typical boon for weeknights at the city’s bars following a long summer run of relying on Worcester residents that were actually in the city and not on vacation.

When a Shrewsbury St. restaurant owner — who wished to remain anonymous — was asked if he would answer some questions about Worcester’s nightlife, he responded bluntly.

“What nightlife?,” he asked in return.

For the owner of a well-established restaurant on the city’s famed “Restaurant Row” to answer so candidly speaks volumes about the current state of the city’s bar and restaurant scene.

A major concern for the restaurant and bar owners we interviewed was whether or not the city’s college students have the means to — and desire to  — leave their dorms, apartments and homes to bar hop and dine out on weeknights.

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, staff members from ThisWeekinWorcester.com conducted a survey of more than two dozen restaurant managers, employees and owners from Shrewsbury St., the Canal District, downtown Worcester and Park Ave, as well as sales personnel from local beer and alcohol distributors.

The three questions that were asked of each person were – 1. How has business been since the start of September? 2. Has the return of the college students improved business? And 3. Do you agree with what some of our readers have told us: “There’s no one out in Worcester anymore” and why do you agree with that?

The majority of those surveyed said that business has gotten slower since the summer and deemed it atypical or that the nights that were typically busier no longer were, but other nights have developed foot traffic, and that in comparison to other years, the traffic in their bars and restaurants were down across the board.

“Business is down everywhere,” said a liquor salesman who wished to remain anonymous with sales routes in Worcester. “I couldn’t give you a definitive answer as to why, but I see it in my paycheck every week.”

Shrewsbury St. Worcester

John Richard, co-owner of Parkway Bar and Restaurant on Shrewsbury St, said, “Business typically picks up for us this time of year, mainly on the weekend. I think it has to do more with people not going to the beach for the weekend and getting back into their weekly routines.”

“However,” Richard continued, “I agree with the readers that there is no one out in Worcester anymore because I can see it with my own eyes. I guess Friday and Saturday nights are okay, but if you go out in Worcester during the week after 8 PM it’s become a ghost town. That wasn’t the case a few years ago.”

“It’s funny, but our busiest time of the year is summer. So when September rolls around, I don’t feel it gets better with the college kids coming back,” Vintage Grille owner Robyn Caruso said.

Most notably, only one bar owner — John Rinaldo of The Muse on Main St. — said that business had actually improved during the week since the start of September.

Rinaldo told ThisWeekinWorcester.com, “I really don’t have many customers that are undergrads. That said, I’ve definitely seen an uptick in business post-Labor Day.”

So where is everyone? What happened to “Thirsty Thursdays” for college students? And what factors are playing into the lack of a city’s nightlife?

Many restaurant and bar owners we surveyed listed several reasons that they all agreed on: there are so many restaurants in the city today compared to five years ago that the same nightlife population is spread out across Worcester, there are so many city-wide activities (bar crawls, beer festivals, cookouts) geared to college students and young professionals that are held during the day or immediately after work — leading to many people “calling it a night” early, and — although none of them could pinpoint why — most that were surveyed said it seems as if the young crowd has less money than people of the similar age group did five years ago.

However, the majority’s verdict is: No one is leaving their house.

Most people that were surveyed said — in one way or another — “Everyone is staying at home” and named Netflix, social media, dating apps, sporting events on television, and other activities as more affordable means to stay entertained and social compared to bar hopping and dining out.

In fact, one business has taken off in Worcester because of the large amount of individuals staying in on weeknights and some weekends.

According to Rob Simon, Growth Operations Manager for Foodler, the home food delivery business is thriving because people are staying home and ordering delivery from Worcester’s restaurants.

“We had a great summer [in Worcester] and a definite uptick in business since the start of September,” Simon said.

While people continue to choose to stay home, host parties, binge-watch their favorite series and play board games, the surveyed group of restaurant personnel all said that they would have to think outside the box to continue to pull in customers and hope that their weeknights turnaround quickly, while the city’s bars and restaurants continue to enjoy their busy weekends.