Medford Vocational Technical High School will open a new restaurant this winter. Bistro 489 will be a student-operated restaurant open to the public for breakfast and lunch during the week. Medford Voc-Tech — like Somerville High School and Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School (in Lexington) — had previously been operating a restaurant, but principal Chad Fallon called the old facility outdated and out of the way.
“This restaurant will feature a state-of-the-art cooking facility and will have the capacity to seat 120 patrons,” Fallon told Eater. “And it’s in the front of the school, so there will be good exposure to the public.”
The restaurant was funded in part by Governor Charlie Baker’s skills capital grant — Medford Voc-Tech received $493,000 from the program. The town of Medford also chipped in with a quarter of a million dollars. And just as the restaurant will be operated by students in Medford Voc-Tech’s culinary program — students will have control of almost everything, down to the menu — it was built by students in the construction and electrical programs.
Like at many vocational and technical high schools, Medford Voc-Tech’s juniors and seniors are given the opportunity to participate in co-op programs meant to prepare them to enter the workforce.
“These students are all getting industry recognized credentials: ServSafe and OSHA certifications,” said Fallon. “By the time they’re juniors, they can go out into the world and get jobs at restaurants. And our co-op program is a week on, then a week off. So it’s great experience.”
Fallon said he expects the restaurant to be fully operational and open to the public sometime in early February.
• Medford Tech’s Bistro 489 Is (Almost) Open for Business [WL Medford]
• Today, Ribbon Cutting Held At New MVTHS Restaurant, “Bistro 489” [Medford Public Schools Blog]