Read on Tewksbury Town Crier
TEWKSBURY — The Pushcart Cafe reopened this week after a kitchen fire forced it to close two years ago.
Julann Briggs, a former employee and the niece of the previous owner, is happy to be back at The Pushcart as a co-owner with Tracy Holden, a resident of Tewksbury and customer of The Pushcart.
“Tracy Holden planted the seed in her head that she would want to reopen it. Then she called me because [the previous owner] was my uncle and I worked here for quite awhile and she said ‘let’s open it,’” Briggs said.
Holden said The Pushcart was always a staple in Tewksbury and she wanted to bring it back to the community.
“The Pushcart has been a part of my life since I was a kid. It’s a piece of the community that was always valuable,” Holden said. “I have four kids and to get food in town quickly and healthy is not always an option so the fact that [The Pushcart] was here and Julann was such an advocate on health and nutrition was the piece I loved.”
Holden and Briggs emphasized Pushcart’s dedication to healthy recipes, including the recipes that the previous owners created.
“We didn’t want to change anything. We changed the space dramatically, but we didn’t feel that anything was broken with the recipes — everyone loved the recipes, so we’re bringing those back,” Holden said. “Julann and I will eventually add our own flare. We’ll be adding a baked potato bar and taco Tuesdays or different fun things.”
Briggs said, “Tracy’s an unbelievable cook, so we’re going to have some yummy whoopie pies and all kinds of new creations as well.”
The menu will be added onto and the space has changed drastically, but the returning employees will keep the place feeling like the town spot everyone knows and loves.
“There’s several of the past employees coming back. Some are just coming back as volunteers to help us with trainings and to help us get back on our feet, but some are coming back to return to work for good,” Holden said. “We’ve had people high and low reaching out saying how excited they are for it and how they want to work here and be a part of The Pushcart team, old and new. It’s a really good feeling.”
Briggs said the returning employees and customers are the most exciting part of the reopening for her.
“We have a lot of reoccurring customers. It’s fun to work here and the customers feed off of that too so even with the customers, it’s like one big happy family,” Briggs said.
The whole town has been buzzing since The Pushcart announced the reopening date on Facebook last week.
Amy Bee, a Pushcart customer, wrote in the post’s comment section saying, “Pushcart, we love you and we missed you!”
Tom Schnorrenberg, another commenter, wrote, “I’ve missed you desperately for the last two years. I’m not even kidding.”
Holden and Briggs prepared for a chaotic reopening and Holden said the cafe started receiving orders a week in advance of the reopening.
Holden told customers, “Sure! Send us your order, we’ll put you first on the list.”
Holden said The Pushcart Cafe will most likely have a grand opening this summer once the chaos of getting the restaurant back up and running simmers.
“We’ll probably plan a grand reopening this summer where we’ll have a big party,” Holden said. “By then we’ll have everything under control, we’ll have the team trained and all fluent at their jobs, so it’ll be a little easier.”