Tag Archives: Willow Rest

Northshore Magazine: August 2016 issue Best of North Shore includes so much on Gloucester and Cape Ann!

20160815_100527Before we dive into Northshore Magazine’s Fall Favorites September issue, let’s take a moment to acknowledge its Best of North Shore August issue. Although votes did not come in all Cape Ann for categories you thought might be a shoe-in: best beach, bakery, breakfast, burger, clam chowder, farmer’s market, art gallery, art anything (!), museum, or attraction — Gloucester and all of Cape Ann businesses receive a lot of deserved attention! Signing in to vote may be a barrier to entry for some. Still, 150,000+ votes were cast. You can check out what won in many additional categories in the 300pp monster issue.

Congratulations to Cape Ann 2016 Best of awardees!

DINE ALFRESCO – The Market Restaurant, Gloucester

FRIED CLAMS- Seaport Grill, Gloucester and Top Dog (seasonal), Rockport; reader’s choice: Woodman’s

LOBSTER DINNER- Roy Moore Lobster, Rockport; reader’s choice Woodman’s of Essex

LOBSTER ROLL- Seaport Grille, Gloucester

PIZZA- Short and Main, Gloucester in a three way tie

ROMANTIC- Duckworth’s, Gloucester

SANDWICHES- Willow Rest, Gloucester

WATERVIEW RESTAURANT- The Market Restaurant, Gloucester

HOTEL BAR- Beauport Hotel, Gloucester

CHOCOLATE- Rockport Fudgery, Rockport (seasonal)

HOTEL- Beauport Hotel

CHARTER BOAT- Schooner Thomas E Lannon

COMMUNITY WALK RUN BIKE BY SEASON – summer Twin Lobster Half Marathon & 1 mile Race, Gloucester; winter Happy Holidays Half Merrython, Gloucester;  reader’s choice, Motif #1 Day 5K, Rockport

FESTIVAL (FALL)- Essex Clamfest, Essex

GOLF COURSE- reader’s choice Bass Rocks Golf Club, Gloucester

MARINA- Cape Ann Marina, Gloucester

NATURE TRAILS- Ravenswood Park, Gloucester

BOOKS-The Bookstore of Gloucester

MATERNITY CLOTHING- The Urchin Exchange, Gloucester

CONCIERGE- reader’s choice Tending the Sweet Life, Gloucester

DANCING- Minglewood Tavern, Gloucester





Are you up for the 13-2 Gloucester beaches challenge? 13 beaches. 2 jumps. 1 city. Go!

A mid-week vacation day is the easiest. Oh, and you’ll need your resident beach sticker. We prepped our car with a picnic blanket for the seat, extra towels, and ice waters. Start early and grab a big  “lobsterjack”  breakfast because you’ll need the fuel. End late.

Let’s establish some base rules here.

First off, you need to spend at least 15 minutes at each beach. (You can tweak this a little if you want.) Next, you need to dive under. We suggest a ritual for each beach, e.g. ‘The Five and Dive’. Finally, you have to stop for ice cream and candy. Remember, you can do these beaches (or others in Gloucester) and jumps in any order. Be flexible for unexpected delays like staying at one beach for hours, or a friend asking you to drop off a sub (*cough* Joey *cough*). Most importantly, you have to do at least 13 beaches and 2 jumps in one day. Mind the tides. Be grateful we have so many choices.

The Beaches- partial list

alphabetical order

Annisquam lighthouse.  Coffin’s beach.  Good Harbor beach.  Long beach. Magnolia beach. Niles beach. Pavilion beach (by Beach Court). Pavilion beach bonus (by the cut). Plum Cove beach. Rocky Neck Oakes Cove beach. Stage Fort Park (1) – Cressy’s beach ( our alt. title ‘sea serpent’ big beach). Stage Fort Park (2) – Half Moon beach. Wheeler’s Point. Wingaersheek beach.

The Jumps- partial list

Annisquam bridge. Magnolia Pier.

*We do this challenge at least once each summer. Yesterday we started off with breakfast at Willow’s Rest and continued from there. Our timing was random especially as we spent hours at Wingaersheek. The second meal to get us through the day came from the sandwich counter at Annie’s by Wingaersheek. Yes, they have a sandwich counter.

Gloucester Beaches sandwich directory



Call ahead for the best subs of summer. Gloucester beaches sandwich directory.


Hungry? Pack light. You’ll pass great sandwich shops, locally owned and operated, en route to Gloucester’s magnificent beaches. Jeff’s Variety can set you up for a good lunch to go wherever you’re headed including Good Harbor Beach, Long Beach, or the back shore. Jeff says that there are many repeat customers that come back each and every season–for years–on their way to Good Harbor Beach. IF you have a big group, you can order trays with finger sandwiches. Sandwich platters featuring Virgilio’s rolls need at least two days notice to prepare. They’re open Sundays. What else? “Yes!” the answer to my question if they have plenty of call ahead requests from cars caught in traffic. Passengers calling only, please!

Scroll down the post for a one-stop, sub-shopping Gloucester directory with phone numbers and links. I could add in our favorite choices from each place.




*the great 2013 Good Morning Gloucester Italian sub winners

on the way to Gloucester’s GOOD HARBOR BEACH

on the way to Gloucester/ Rockport LONG BEACH

on the way downtown headed in any direction to Gloucester beaches: Pavilion, Cressy, Half Moon, Niles, Good Harbor

  • Cafe Sicilia (978) 283-7345 sandwiches and pizza slices
  • Cave (978) 283-0896 for baguette/cheese French picnic style fare
  • Cupboard (978) 281-1908
  • *Destino’s Subs 
  • Cape Ann Farmer’s Market (Thursdays) fresh produce & baguette/cheese French picnic style fare
  • *Jeff’s Variety (978) 281-5800
  • Leonardo’s  (978) 281-7882
  • Last Stop (978) 281-2616
  • Mike’s  (978) 282-0777
  • Morning Glory (978) 281-1851
  • Poseidons (978) 290-4313
  • *Sclafanis (978) 283-6622
  • *Virgilios (978) 283-5295
  • Yellow Sub Shop (978) 281-2217

on the way to Gloucester’s NILES BEACH

  • Last Stop (978) 281-2616
  • Sailor Stan’s to go (978) 281-4470

on the way to Gloucester’s PLUM COVE BEACH / ANNISQUAM/ LANESVILLE 

  • Captain Hooks (978) 282-4665
  • Plum Cove Grind (978) 281-3377
  • Willow Rest  sub and/or the farmer’s market fresh produce, cheese, specialty prepared meals picnic option (978)283-2417

on the way to Gloucester’s WINGAERSHEEK BEACH

  • main concession stand at Gloucester’s Wingaersheek beach (978) 281-9785
  • Annie’s Variety  (978) 283-2887
  • Marshall’s Farm Stand (picnic route rather than sandwich counter)  (978) 283-2168 (pints of fruit, munchies, loaf artisan bread, mozzarella specialty cheeses)

I haven’t forgotten Magnolia–just missing Magnolia’s House of Pizza. ON Mondays there’s Cape Ann Farmer’s market for Magnolia. “M” for Mondays, “M” for Magnolia.

Straight out of Compass graduation 2016

On graduation day, the sky is as expansive as their future.


Congratulations Class of 2016!


Ryder Brady*, Caitlin Ciaramitaro, Lucas Devlin,  Sierra Goodhue, Nicole Horgan*,  Tia Reddy*, Rachel Wolfe, ; Ciara Chandler; Tyler Cilluffo; Trinity Eriksen-Miller; Anthony King,  Matthew Leverich, Christian Miller, Savanna Moses and Joseph Pallazola*

The teachers and staff presented awards of distinction and recognition:

Leadership Award: Ryder Brady

Transformation Award: Tia Reddy

Excellence Award: Tyler Cilluffo

Perseverance Award: Matthew Leverich

Commitment Award: Joseph Pallazola

* denotes  achievement scholarship awards

There was an awesome and festive spread from Willow Rest. (two quick mentions: best mini burgers I’ve ever eaten and scrumptious cupcakes!)





Mary Kay Taylor – Ardelle




Shannon Cormier, Youth Education Program Manager, and Peggy Hegarty-Steck, Executive Director Action Inc welcomed everyone. Also presenting: Karli Washington, Career and Academic Counselor; Judy Bloomfield, English and History Teacher; Nick Belyea, Math Teacher; and Jessica Perrine, Health and Fitness Teacher.

The students studied art with Avery McNiff, Cape Ann Art Haven art center and science with Tony Wilbur of Maritime Gloucester.



Addressing the class, Natalie Hale, Class of 2015


The graduating class asked current freshman, 9th grader Catherine Cabral to be one of the invited speakers.


Lucas Devlin invited speaker Class of 2016







Cool hoodie designed by Ryder.


The power of community! What a memorable gala for ACTION, INC’s 50th milestone!

Cat Ryan submits-

This anniversary inspired a very special evening for the 2015 Annual Meeting: a tribute to all of Action’s staff for so many years of dedication, engagement and –well 50 years says it all- sustainable programming!

Last night, the curtains were drawn at Shalin Liu Performance center, the massive screen dropped and we were treated to this short, great tribute video. Look closely at the old photos and history of Action, Inc. Write into the comments below if you can name the four people involved with Action in 1965. We’ll see if you’re right.

Kudos to the movie crew:

Jessica Benedetto, Action’s Director of Marketing & Planning

Megan Merlin, Action’s Project Coordinator

Grieg Cranna, Photographer

Adam Kooken, Videographer, Montserrat


Jessica and Megan organized the event. Willow Rest rocked the food. Speaking of rock, we were treated to the happiest musicians ever. Perfect sound and coolest set from Dan King and friends, with Erika Van Pelt adding powerful vocals.

Executive Director, Tim Riley, is retiring this year. He received the Lyndon Baines Johnson War on Poverty Award and promptly shared the award right back with everyone else.


GloucesterCast 113 #GloucesterMA Podcast Taped 1/18/15 The Super Cheery Podcast

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GloucesterCast 113 #GloucesterMA Podcast Taped 1/18/15

Topics Include: Guests Melissa Cox, Donna Ardizzoni, Nichole Schrafft, Bill Cox, Mr Effervescent Toby Pett and Joey Ciaramitaro, Cape Ann Museum Favorite Parts, Mark Ring, Lobstermen Are Fishermen Too Dammit!, GMG Electricity Series, Poop In Burnham Field, Who Picks Up Poop?, RIP BINGO, Upcoming Political Season Means You Need To Subscribe To The Gloucester Daily Times, Good Luck To Sefathia, Getting Behind Whoever Is In The Mayor’s Seat, Chamber Cape Ann Chamber License Plate, Congratulations To Catherine Schlichte New Chamber Board of Directors President, Nichole’s Experience At The Car Show, No Shame In Driving A Minivan, David Black Sculpture, Controversey Over Public Art Installations, Phyllis A Annual Meeting, 525 Now Delivering, Walt Kolenda, Donna’s TBT Post Hat, Passports, Gloucester Breakfasts, Sugar Mag’s, Willow Rest, Fort Square Cafe, George’s, Two Sisters, Charlie’s Place, Foriegn Affairs, Doug Pappows to Come In, Tacos Lupita, Jalepenos, Melissa Cox Loses the Vegan Vote, Regina Razabonni Ardizzoni, Donna Is Going To Take Elocution Lessons, The Farm Bar and Grille Bikini Speedo Dodgeball Tourney, Art Haven Buoy Auction , Winner of Last Week’s Podcast Subscriber Contest Who Won A Fish City Gloucester T Shirt From Fred Bodin and A Copy Of Carol Perry’s Book “Caught Dead Handed” Is Chuck Cook -Prize Must be Picked Up At The Dock


This Week’s New Gloucestercast Podcast Subscriber Contest Will Win An Autographed Copy Of Clarke Snow’s Commercial Fishing Story Book Waltzing With Lady Luck Subscribe for a chance to win-

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GloucesterCast 103 Featuring Couples In Love Who Have Moved To Gloucester Taped 11/9/14


GloucesterCast 103 Featuring Couples In Love Who Have Moved To Gloucester Taped 11/9/14

Topics Include:The Rullis, The Scheetz, Jess and Dennis Brand, Lucinda Seigel, Kim Smith and Rich Bean with random appearance by Niece Amanda, What brought you to Gloucester?, Few Young Professionals On Commuter Rail, The progression Of The Scheetz on GMG from getting engaged to married to buying a house in Gloucester, Erin Rulli misses the saltiness of the old GMG, the storied history of Gloucester, The Beans moved to Gloucester after living in Medford forever, Gloucester Pride Today vs Gloucester Pride 20 years ago, Trying to remind people about the cool Gloucester landscape and seascapes, White Ninja, the inevitable backlash, Getting the Rullis back to Playa Del Carmen, Kimberley Scheetz looking forward to volunteering to clean the HarborWalk, Dinner Dealer 2015, North Shore Food and Gift Emporium, Amanda Pops In Wearing a Duck Outfit, Why Dinner Dealer Decks Are No-Brainers, Peter Todd Fundraiser, Shock Over Bottle Bill Election Results, Joey’s Mini Rant – The Rational Behind To-Go Containers Made Out Of Non-Microwavable Tins, Is there anything that is done at Willow Rest not exactly spot-on?, Willow Rest please open up a location in East Gloucester too!, Music Listings On GMG, Eliminating Penny Conversation, Emerson Brand Named After Emerson College, Kimberley Scheetz Responsible For Hundreds If No Thousands Of Train Derailments, Rechargeable Battery Discussion, Goddamn Bacon Donuts Are Driving Me Nuts,What is the rationale behind not retweeting or Facebook liking a complimentary post on someone’s business social media account?

podcasticon1GMG Couples podcast ©Kim Smith

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GloucesterCast With Guests Nichole Schrafft, Sista Felicia and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 3/30/14


GloucesterCast With Guests Nichole Schrafft, Sista Felicia and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 3/30/14

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Topics Include: Topics Include: Coconut Licking The Mic, Foreign Affairs, Als Cafe, Top 4 Restaurants On The North Shore, Duckworths, The Franklin, Passports, Latitude 43, Seaport Grill,  The Blue Ox, The Cheesecake Factory, Ithaki, Artu in the North End, Modern Pastry vs Mike’s Pastry,  Lexington Ave Resurgence, Innovation House in Magnolia, 525, Donna Ardizzoni, Larry and Misty From Glosta Joes Kickstarter, Village Market, The Surf, Edgewater Cafe, Bruni’s, Willow Rest, Mariposa Sale, Art McCann and The Change.org Petition About The Petition, Spring Sports, The Information Needed To Sign Up Kids For Sports Nowadays, Indoor Sport Facilities Making Sports Year Round, Participation Awards



GloucesterCast 12/1/13 With Host Joey Ciaramitaro and Guests Toby Pett and Amandacakes


GloucesterCast Taped 12/1/13 With Host Joey Ciaramitaro and Guests Toby Pett and Amandacakes

Topics Include: Family Cookie Day, Turducken, ChromeCast, Downtown Gloucester Ladies Night, The Hive Gift Wrapping Service, Buoy Painting, Lobster Trap Tree, Rockland Maine’s Lobster Trap Spike, Favorite Gloucester Breakfasts, Sugar Mag’s, Lobster Land, Sailor Stans, Mamie’s Kitchen, Charlie’s Place, George’s Coffee Shop, Willow Rest, Best House Made Hash, West Indian Hash, Reader Subjects, Cruise Ships, Beauport Princess, Thanksgiving Dinner, Turkey Pot Pie, Sista Felicia On Cover Of Cape Ann Magazine, Mariposa, Lowell Peabody Call-Out, New GMG Technical Jackets, Manchester Athletic Club Holiday Fair

Purchase- GMG Caps, Technical Jerseys, Hoodies, Dry Fit Shirts Here- http://gmg.storenvy.com/

Seafood Throwdown, Farmers Market, Live Music on Schooners and in the Streets. It’s still Summer folks!

Seafood Throwdown

NAMA’s Niaz Dorry with the Mystery Fish (gray sole) at a July 2010 Seafood Throwdown won by Sugar Mags

Can you feel it?  People trying to pack a whole summer into the last week before school starts, which seems to get earlier every year.  It feels like there’s so much going on that every choice we make effectively says “No” to a dozen other things we’d like to do.  Take today for instance.  Live music starts at 11:30am at Stage Fort Park and continues into the night at restaurants, clubs, @ Shalin Liu, on schooners and in the streets.  See the full live music schedule here.

Just in case that’s not enough for you, there’s also the Farmer’s Market at Stage Fort Park from 3-6:30 and today you can catch NAMA’s only Gloucester-based Seafood Throwdown of the year at 4:30 featuring a showdown between 2012 HarvestFest champs Gloucester’s Willow Rest and 2008 Genoa World Pesto champs Beverly’s Prides Osteria.  Spectators get to taste the food so you really don’t want to miss this one!

See how much fun these Seafood Throwdowns are in this video by Joey from the 2010 epic rematch between Passports & Dog Bar.

Lunch at Willow Rest

willow rest

Everything they serve at Willow Rest is fresh and delicious.  I went for their cheeseburger, my favorite.  Friend Chris got the Cuban, and my mom got the best BLT she’s ever had in her 80+ years.  Even our beloved Mayor loves to scoot over there from City Hall for lunch. 

If you haven’t been to Willow Rest lately for breakfast or lunch, or to pick up some of their fresh baked goods, veggies or other goodies, stop in and enjoy.

E.J. Lefavour

It’s a False Rumor

pc38_pebble beach abstract2 copy

Willow Rest is not closed!  I was talking with a neighbor in Annisquam a couple of days ago and mentioned that Melissa at Willow Rest is now carrying a large selection of my photo montage cards.  They were surprised because they believed Willow Rest was closed until May because of a sign they had seen on the building.  There is a sign, but it refers to the gas station at Willow Rest, which is closed until May due to lack of business during the winter.  Willow Rest was closed for the week of February 3-10 for vacation, but are open for regular business with their great breakfast and lunch selections, coffee, baked goods and fine grocery and produce items.  So go back to Willow Rest, and while you’re there, check out my photo montage cards, many of which have never yet been seen.

E.J. Lefavour


BLT at Willow Rest

Some sandwiches I don’t think I have ever ordered, tuna fish sandwich, PB&J, or a BLT. Why? because I know I can make them better myself and they are so easy to make. I think I shied away from ordering a BLT because I figured they would just use the bacon left over from breakfast. Until Sue and Evvy split a BLT at Willow Rest. They let me have one bite. Wow.  It wasn’t until this week that I got back to order one for myself.

This bacon lettuce and tomato is better than I have ever made.

The bun: soft and chewy, buttered and toasted on the grill for a nice layer of crunch.

Bacon: thick, salty, smoked, I think you can get this in the Willow Rest refridgerator case.

Lettuce: fluffy pile for good texture to oppose the crunch of bacon and the grilled bun.

Tomato: still getting that homegrown taste in December.

The mayo: some kind of secret mixture with a nice tang to it.

The last five times I’ve stopped at the Willow Rest I can’t help ordering the Cuban. I might have found the lunch that will win the next five visits.

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