Worcester Is Getting Another Cool Restaurant from Boston Ex-Pats

A couple of former Barbara Lynch Gruppo chefs are opening Kummerspeck, an international butcher shop.

Rachel Coit and Matt Mahoney of Kummerspeck

Rachel Coit and Matt Mahoney of Kummerspeck. / Photo provided

Here’s a fantastic German word that desperately needs an English counterpart: Kummerspeck is “used to describe pounds put on by emotional eating,” chef Matt Mahoney recently told MassLive—and it’s the name of his forthcoming Worcester restaurant.

Mahoney, formerly chef de cuisine at Barbara Lynch’s the Butcher Shop, is teaming up with his wife, former Sportello sous chef Rachel Coit, on the Butcher Shop-esque concept. The full-service meat market and deli will offer sit-down dining during lunch and dinner. Kummerspeck will also have a beer and wine shop on site, Mahoney told MassLive.

Mahoney and Coit are both originally from Central Massachusetts, though they met at the New England Culinary Institute. Together, they have been dreaming up Kummerspeck for more than six years, Mahoney says. The chef has always focused on butchery and charcuterie, but his leadership role with the Gruppo solidified their vision for their own restaurant, he says.

“The degree of profitability in that hybrid concept really allows you to keep your price point reasonable and minimize waste,” he says. “At the end of the day, there’s always going to be one of those outlets [butcher shop, deli, and restaurant] that can always use a piece of meat that otherwise might go into the trash.”

Kummerspeck will play up the deli aspect moreso than the meat market, akin to Karl’s Sausage Kitchen and European Market in Peabody. Expect a range of German, Polish, and Austrian-style deli meats, French-style pâtés, and Italian-influenced charcuterie. A December pop-up featured chicken liver pâté with truffle and pistachio, as well as Fernet and fennel coppa cotto, a French dip sandwich with smoked chuck eye, and more.

“If we feel like doing bulgogi one day, we’ll do it,” Mahoney adds. “We’re not a fusion restaurant: When we drift out of Europe, we’ll focus on that dish and do it right, and when we stay within Europe, it will be very focused on what it’s supposed to be historically. There are no bounds to what we’re going to do,” cuisine-wise, he says. There will also be a solid vegetarian component, with at least three vegetarian dishes available every day.

Kummerspeck is currently under construction at 118 Water St. in the Canal District, right next door Weintraub’s Jewish Deli, in the one-time Tom’s International Deli storefront. The namesake deli man is Mahoney’s landlord.

“When we met him in the space, we started describing what we wanted to do, and his eyes just lit up. Within 20 minutes of us meeting, him and his son were showing us pictures [of their deli] from the 60s and 70s. We all kind of knew at that point that was the space,” Mahoney says.

It’s also part of Worcester’s blossoming dining scene—and for Mahoney and Coit, a bit of a homecoming for the Spencer and Harvard natives.

Kummerspeck will seat between 50-60, including a few seats at a small bar. Mahoney has submitted an application for a full liquor license, but he intends to focus on beer, wine, and amari, he says. Retail coolers and butcher blocks will line a wide hallway toward the kitchen in back, and retail will operate likely 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with regular hours for lunch and dinner service, too. Mahoney doesn’t intend to offer regular weekend brunch, but he’s “a sucker for or old-school Mother’s Day brunches, with white tablecloths and rack of lamb-carving tableside,” he says, so expect special-occasion services.

Kummerspeck is on track to open by May 1.

Kummerspeck, coming spring 2017 to 118 Water St., Worcester, Instagram.