June 27, 2018

The Sole Proprietor to expand with new kitchen

Photo | Nathan Fiske
The Sole Proprietor's existing kitchen will become seating by the end of the year.
Photo | Nathan Fiske
Madeleine & Robb Ahlquist, owners of The Sole Proprietor and Worcester Restaurant Group

Worcester seafood restaurant The Sole Proprietor will add a new kitchen as part of an overall remodel of the Highland Street eatery.

The 38-year-old restaurant received the permit from the city on Wednesday to begin the construction, said Robb Ahlquist, co-owner of the Sole and its parent company, Worcester Restaurant Group, which also runs VIA Italian Table and One Eleven Chop House on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester.

The construction is expected to take six months and be completed before the winter holidays. Ahlquist did not have a cost estimate.

"If you don't reinvent yourself every 10 years or so, you are falling behind," Ahlquist said. "Hopefully, the next generation of diners will enjoy it."

The existing kitchen is the same as when the Sole opened nearly 40 years ago, and it needs to be reorganized and updated, Ahlquist said. The new kitchen will add about 850 square feet on the east side of the 6,000-square-foot restaurant.

By adding a new kitchen instead of replacing the existing one, the Sole will stay open during construction. The restaurant will tear down interior walls and do an overall refresh of the layout and decor, Ahlquist said.

The number of seats in the restaurant is expected to remain the same. The new kitchen will eat into existing seating, which will be added back in the place where the kitchen now is.

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