Dining

The Chameleon

Rachel SHUSTER

Located at 166 Shrewsbury St. in Worcester, The Chameleon, which opened in June, is staying true to its name and featuring an ever-changing menu.Worcester native and Chameleon owner, Joe Herman, took over the restaurant from the general manager of the former The Usual and decided to do something different with the space. 

“Deven Senior (former chef at The Usual) and I sat down and went over some ideas that Shrewsbury Street – the city – didn’t have,” Herman said. “We put down some concepts and got to talking about a menu that could possibly be changed seasonally. That’s how this came about. We decided to focus on different food concepts every season.”

To reflect the idea of adapting and changing with the surroundings, Deven’s girlfriend came up with “Chameleon,” which perfectly fits the concept.

While the menu is ever-changing, the atmosphere at The Chameleon remains constant, with a huge focus on family and fun. “I’m huge on family, staff-wise,” Herman said. “I like a fun atmosphere. It’s warm and inviting. We renovated the property, redecorated, opened up the layout to make it more inviting and added vinyl graphics, which are changeable and will be switched up as the menu switches up. We added 24 taps and draft cocktails made in-house, including hard lemonades and sangrias on tap.”

The Chameleon also has a seating space for 15 people for larger parties and can section off areas near the bar.

So what can guests expect from the menu? Herman said that the menu will always be changing, depending on the season, but the menu will also feature familiar items with a touch of the unexpected.

“We take what is normal and expected and we do a little twist. It’s not too extreme, but it’s more unique,” he said.

For the summer, the menu will focus on barbecue. “You can see items on the menu such as regular staples like ribs, pulled pork, brisket, vegetarian options, falafel, deep-fried pork ribs, three different types of burgers, etc.,” Herman said.

From there, Herman said, the menu will change to German cuisine to comfort food with a twist in the winter. “To come, guests can expect items like jambalaya, chicken and waffles, soft-shell tacos and our special take on street food – Shrewsbury Street Corn on the Cob,” he added.

Hate change? Well there’s a menu section for you. “The Always” portion of the menu will feature six or seven menu items that will always be on the menu! “We’ll have items like the tacos, jambalaya and Korean glazed salmon in this section. We might change the sauce or small details to change things up a bit, but we’ll always have them,” Herman said.

As for prices, Herman said appetizers range from $8-$12; sandwiches and most meals range from $11-$18; and a couple items like the Full Rack of Ribs, Four Meat Combo and Hanger Steak go up into the $20 range.

Herman plans to hold events where a portion of the proceeds will go to different, local charities. There are also plans in the works to put on other events like eating contests!

The Chameleon has valet parking on the weekends, and after 5 p.m., guests can park in the lot across the street.

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