Table Hoppin’: One Eleven Chop House in Worcester Celebrates 20th year

Worcester Telegram
January 2019

A special shoutout to Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist who on Jan. 29 will celebrate 20 years in business at One Eleven Chop House, 111 Shrewsbury St., Worcester.

To mark the occasion, all entrées on One Eleven’s menu will be discounted by 20 percent on Jan. 29. The offer is good only at the restaurant on the anniversary date.

In addition to One Eleven Chop House, the Ahlquists’ Worcester Restaurant Group has two other businesses in its portfolio: The Sole Proprietor, 118 Highland St., Worcester, which will have been in business 40 years at the end of this year, and VIA Italian Table, 89 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, celebrating 12 years in April.

Aaron Francisco, who was opening general manager at One Eleven Chop House, continues in the position and is instrumental in the restaurant’s success, according to the Ahlquists. He’s a key team member and representative of the restaurant, they said.

Patty Newton also celebrates 20 years, working as a member of the waitstaff at One Eleven. Described as a “terrific person,” Newton will be honored by the Ahlquists at the restaurant’s anniversary celebration. “There’s no one like Patty,” according to the Ahlquists. Newton, a teacher, works part time at the restaurant.

While the restaurant industry has gone through significant changes through the years, changes at One Eleven have been subtle.

“The classic look of the steakhouse is timeless,” said Robb Ahlquist about One Eleven’s design. “We’ve only refreshed and renewed carpets, furniture, paint, things like that,” he said, crediting Peter Niemitz of Niemitz Design Group in Boston with designing the restaurant.

The Ahlquists recalled that when they first talked about opening One Eleven, people doubted whether Worcester would support a high-end restaurant.

“We have always felt that if you deliver a quality product and good service and do it consistently while meeting a fair price level, customers would come back,” said Robb Ahlquist. “One Eleven was very well-received in the beginning and it still is.”

Francisco said guests experience exceptional fine dining at One Eleven. Out-of-state guests remark how great the value and the restaurant are, comparing it to other top steakhouses in Chicago, Kansas City and New York, he said.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts voted One Eleven the top restaurant in the state.

The restaurant is highly recognized not only for food and service but also an award-winning wine list.

One Eleven has been honored with Wine Spectator awards year after year, said Madeleine Ahlquist. An engaging tableside cocktail experience includes smoked cocktails, she said.

For information about the menu, to-go catering, wine dinners, private dining, reservations and more, visit Telephone: (508) 799-4111.

Back by popular demand is a Chop House Signature Entrée, Mixed Grill. The dish consists of braised short rib, confit duck leg and two blackened jumbo shrimp, served with garlic mashed potatoes, fig and sweet onion compote and a wine-ripened tomato relish. Another guest request fulfilled is prime rib on the weekends.

“In this business there are always challenges and competition,” said Robb Ahlquist. “We stay on top of what’s happening in the industry and tweak things along the way to be the best we can be.”

Mark Hawley is corporate executive chef of the Worcester Restaurant Group, overseeing all three restaurants in the group. The Ahlquists’ daughter, Caitlyn Carolan, and her husband, Keith Carolan, work in the family business.

Cheers to 20 years!

On another note:

The Ahlquists purchased a small piece of property in back of The Sole Proprietor in order to build a new kitchen, replacing flooring, equipment, etc. With the expansion, the restaurant also will gain more seating and guests will have a view of the new open kitchen.

By Barbara Houle