WORCESTER – Off The Rails, the country-themed restaurant and bar on 90 Commercial St., is close to opening its “Music Venue,” in phase two of the restaurant’s plans, which were first announced last year.
“The Music Venue is set to open in April,” said Eric Lindquist, communications director for Off The Rails. The official date in April has not yet been set.
One of the first musical appearances to be announced for the Music Venue is “The Voice” finalist Ricky Duran from Grafton, who will perform in May.
The restaurant opened in July (Phase One) with food and beverages reflecting traditional Southern cuisine and nightly music from mostly country bands, filling what the owners and operators thought was a vacuum in downtown Worcester.
Ongoing construction since then at the back of the building represents phase two – a “multi-use, four-season” facility that will accommodate 500 to 600 people, Lindquist said.
The music venue will offer lots of country music and can be used for activities such as banquets, weddings and similar events.
In good weather, the Music Venue will include an outdoor beer garden.
“Palladium (Worcester) is just over,” Lindquist remarked. The music venue could also be “piggy back on how it looks,” with regard to possible Palladium outdoor events.
Off The Rails is owned by Cliff Rucker, who owns the Worcester Railers hockey team and part of the Worcester Palladium music hall. Off The Rails managing partner, Chris Besaw, has also been general manager of The Palladium.
The construction of the venue has been able to relocate this winter due to the relatively mild weather to date, Lindquist said.
“We have been very lucky without snow.”
Off The Rails has said it will book local, regional and national artists, including country and classical rock cover bands, bluegrass artists and similar acts to suit the southern vibe.
“We’re looking to book quite a few shows in that space. We’re announcing acts as we get closer,” Lindquist said.
The date for Ricky Duran’s appearance in May should be finished by the end of the week, Lindquist said.
Meanwhile, the Off The Rails restaurant has “done very well,” Lindquist said, adding that a new menu will be introduced in the next few weeks.
The restaurant had its “second best week two weeks before Christmas,” he said. However, renewed concerns about COVD with the Omicron variant caused a few cancellations last week, “unfortunately.”
Still, “We’ve been very encouraged to move on. We’ve been busy, knocking on the tree. We’ve been pretty lucky,” Lindquist said.