Friday, February 18, 2011

Dinner, Drinks and a Show Downtown: Getting to Work on the Other 99%

"Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration" - Thomas Edison

While it's been fun over the first few months of postings on The Image of Worcester to share some big ideas about development in Worcester, it is my hope that, over time, readers will find that this blog is more than just about big ideas, but that it also places an equal emphasis on pursuing these ideas to see where they may lead us.

In late December I posted about the mostly vacant Goral Building next to the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts and how I thought it would make a great space for a restaurant. I've managed to push the ball forward on some of my thoughts and wanted to share them with you and hope you might share your reaction to them in the comments section below.

I was able to get my hands on some as-built drawings for the space, and Al Fine of Fine Associates out of Boston (Al tells me they have done, continue to work on, and are interested in bidding on more design work in Worcester) was willing to sketch up my concept on a set of floorplans.

Goral Building - Proposed 1st Floor Plan
1st Floor - The first floor contains three commercial spaces. Going left to right, we start with the existing corner commercial space presently occupied by Goral Community Optician; next, a 1,000 SF in-line commercial space (this space has you name all over it ARTS Worcester!); and finally, the restaurant. The 75 seat dining room space is on the left and the 35 seat bar is on the right.

Goral Building - Proposed 2nd Floor Plan
2nd Floor - This floor contains two spaces, the 3,700 SF function space on the right and the approx. 2,500 SF office space on the left. The office space lays out in an L-shaped pattern and takes advantage of the existing large windows on the north and west elevations. I was able to do some investigating re: direct connection between Theatre and the function space and I did confirm that a passageway between the Theatre and the function space is indeed physically possible. I also had an opportunity to speak with Troy Siebels, Executive Director of the the Hanover Theatre, and he confirmed that the Theatre is indeed open to exploring potential partnership opportunities such as the expanded VIP space idea discussed in my previous post on this topic.

Goral Building - Proposed Roof Plan
Roof - I know its only February, but the warm weather of the past few days has got me thinking again about that roofdeck idea. The roof contains the 3,800 SF seasonal rooftop deck with a 75 seat dining room and a bar area with 45 seats. There is also a space carved out for entertainment and there is sufficient rooftop space available for a rooftop garden on the left.

There is also a basement space in the building, perhaps a comedy club would like the space?


  1. GREAT post, Eric ...keep 'em coming!

    Harry T

  2. Right of the bat I wonder if the project really needs three kitchens? A roof top prep or grill area is what I assume would be going into the "kitchen" spot on the roof, but if you could utilize the same kitchen for both the main dining room and the VIP lounge, you could scale back the lounge on the second floor and increase the commercial space so it is not so awkward (I am assuming about 20' from outside wall to first inner column). Office space or retail could work on the second, but if it's going to be office, then the current layout seems tricky.