December 13, 2018

Craft beer restaurant owner buys Riviera strip club

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The Riviera Show Club on Southbridge Street is now owned by the owner of a craft beer restaurant company.

The owner of a craft beer restaurant franchise has purchased the Riviera Show Club on Southbridge Street, but no changes are planned just yet.

The Worcester License Commission approved the transfer of the business' liquor and entertainment license to CBE Worcester, LLC, which is doing business as Craft Brewers Exchange.

Attorney Caroline O'Connell, representing Craft Brewers Exchange owner Michael Carney, told the commission Thursday that the current business will run as is for the time being.

When reached by phone after the meeting, Carney decline to detail plans for the space, but a recent license approval in Westford could indicate a major shift in concept from the strip club that routinely finds itself on License Commission agendas for license violations.

At an Oct. 23 Westford Board of Selectmen meeting, Carney said the concept for the 355 Littleton Road space in Westford is a craft beer-centric restaurant that features beers from lesser-known small-batch breweries.

According to Carney, there are about 115 such small brewers in the state.

"Our platform is to give them a spot where they can sell some of their better lines," Carney said, adding that more than 70 craft beers will be on tap at the location.

Craft wine and craft liquor will also be offered, he said.

A wood-fired grill will be able to cook pizzas, burgers, steak and wings, Carney said.

The Westford location, he said, is the first of nine planned locations. He did not say if the Worcester property was one of those locations.

"We're looking forward to opening the brand and getting access to some really great Massachusetts companies that none of you have had experience with," he said in Westford.


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