Destination Downtown Marlborough: dining, entertainment, history

Destination Downtown Marlborough: dining, entertainment, history

By Meredith Harris

MAIN STREET JOURNAL – Downtown Marlborough is buzzing. For the past year, the area has been emerging as a destination for locals and visitors alike, with live music, dog-friendly patios, trendy concepts, and cool events attracting pedestrians to stroll down the streets and diners to enjoy meals and drinks along the sidewalks. Change certainly will not happen overnight, but it is no doubt coming, riding on a wave of new businesses that are swiftly transforming Marlborough and the Downtown District.

Leading the charge are Downtown Marlborough’s two new breweries, Worcester-based Flying Dreams Brewing, whose second location landed on Main Street last December; and our very own home-grown Lost Shoe Brewing and Roasting Company, which opened this summer next to City Hall. While bringing some of its already popular brews to the city, Flying Dreams has been serving local beers, made and poured exclusively in Marlborough. Lost Shoe’s funky community space has been daylighting as a gourmet coffee shop and moonlighting as a trendy brewery, serving all locally-made beverages and creating a space for vendor pop-ups. These new businesses, along with our growing downtown staples and the introduction of exciting new initiatives, are breathing new life into an area that has been raring for revival.

Our downtown restaurants are booming. Since local favorite Welly’s was featured on Phantom Gourmet, their business has expanded tremendously, with the waiting line for their weekly Chicken Parm night winding literally down Main Street. Like Welly’s, Vin Bin’s outdoor patio has been packed on a daily basis and their pop-up Donut Stand has been a real local hit. Double T’s Tavern, which opened in the former Sully’s location, has not only brought the place back to life, but has added yet another great amenity along the up-and-coming Weed Street.

Downtown has become a community gathering place. Just last month, Marlborough held the city’s inaugural Food Truck Festival, which saw more than 2,000 people pour into downtown, in spite of the intermittent heavy rain. Our downtown restaurants and breweries banded together to create a Beer and Cocktail Alley during the event, just as, a couple of weeks earlier, the breweries had created a community Beer Garden during the annual Labor Day Parade. All summer long, the weekly Farmers Market and outdoor Concert Series saw hundreds of people enjoying local vendors and talent.

A major new draw to the city has been the state’s first Museum in the Streets, which launched in Marlborough this summer. The museum is a free walking tour that showcases the city’s historical identity through a series of informational panels installed across the downtown area. (Editor’s note: This edition of the Downtown Village Guide tells the interesting back stories of key participants who made the Museum possible. See the front page and page B7.)

Another ongoing initiative, the Zagster bike share program, has continued to attract both eco-friendly commuters and riders who want to enjoy the beauty of the Assabet River Rail Trail that starts in Downtown Marlborough.

I am proud to say that we, at MEDC, have been working to generate just this sort of buzz and are excited to have played a part in many of these projects. As we continue to support the growth of Downtown Marlborough, our dream is to see even more people living, working, walking and playing in the area.

Meredith Harris is the Executive Director of Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

This article originally appeared here.