North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing to 873 Café Tavern

Funding to support creation of six job opportunities in Ashby

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) – the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce – recently approved a $75,000 loan to Sean Smith, owner of 873 Café Tavern, located at 873 Main Street in Ashby. The loan, which was referred to NCMDC from NewVue Communities, will support the restaurant’s start-up costs, provide working capital and create six job opportunities in the community.


Smith purchased the business after the previous owners closed the restaurant in May 2020 due to financial hardships amid the pandemic. An experienced chef who worked as the Executive Chief and Culinary Director at The Fay Club in Fitchburg, and at Great Road Kitchen and Oyster Bar in Littleton prior to purchasing the 873 Café Tavern, Smith is optimistic that re-opening the restaurant will be good for the town of Ashby.


“The 873 Café Tavern was a successful restaurant and a local destination for years,” said Smith. “With the financial assistance and support from the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, I was able to fulfill a dream to open my own business and bring new life to the restaurant.”


The 873 Café Tavern features a lounge, restaurant with fireplace, café, patio for outside seating, and an ice cream bar. Open since late summer, the 873 Café Tavern features a specialized menu of shared plates and comfort foods, all using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.


As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.


For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit or