Pushcart Cafe owner Tracy Holden and her team turn out everything from her famous macaroni & cheese to a variety of soups, sandwiches and full dinners from a tiny kitchen — Holden says she cooks two turkeys every day to meet demand.
As customers know, the front of the house also gets crowded at peak hours. The 1,200 s.f. casual restaurant has just a handful of tables sharing space with an extensive salad bar and a counter service area where staff assemble freshly made sandwiches, fill takeout orders and ring up in-house diners.
Within six weeks, if all goes to plan, both Holden’s team and customers will be able to stretch out as the restaurant more than triples its square footage by adding an additional 3,000 s.f in a newly renovated space next door. There will be a new kitchen , a dedicated sandwich prep area, an office, more storage, 42 additional seats for dining in and a long serving counter for takeout orders that can be placed through The Pushcart’s website.
The existing space will be renovated to feature a smoothie bar, said Holden.
In the coming weeks, the restaurant will close briefly to retrain employees and finalize inspections by the Health Department. Holden hopes to open the renovated restaurant “before the snow flies,” likely by Thanksgiving.
The Pushcart Cafe has been a fixture in Tewksbury for more than 30 years. It closed for a time in 2015 after a fire but reopened in 2017 at its current location and does a steady business for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday.
While the plaza housing Pushcart and a number of other businesses was recently purchased by Marc Ginsburg, Holden says she has five years left on her lease and is confident she’ll find a way to continue serving customers.
“After all, you can’t have Tewksbury without Pushcart,” she said.