EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

March 25, 2014

Key downtown location empty -- again

City wants new business soon for Washington Square spot

HAVERHILL — It looks like a merchant’s dream — a prime location in the heart of the busy downtown.

It’s on the ground floor of a building at an intersection where hundreds of pedestrians and drivers travel each day.

At one time, parking was considered an issue, but now the parking garage near the train station offers plenty of spaces just a short walk away.

But still, the first-floor space of the old Whittier Hotel cannot keep a tenant for very long.

The latest business there — Coach’s Sports Bar & Grill — has closed, leaving the spot at the corner of Washington and Essex streets empty.

As city officials rave about the success of the Washington Street end of downtown, Haverhill is left with an vacant storefront in a key location — again.

In recent years, several businesses have come and gone from this spot, which was empty for months before Coach’s sports bar moved in in April of last year.

Before the sports bar, an Asian food restaurant occupied the spot, and before that other restaurants and bars were there.

City officials said it’s a mystery why Coaches closed.

William Pillsbury, director of planning and economic development for Haverhill, said he noticed Coaches had closed a week or so ago without notice. He said he plans to reach out to the owners of the business and the owner of the building to try to learn what happened.

Pillsbury said he checked with the City Clerk’s Office and the License Commission to see if there were any problems with the restaurant’s license, and he was told there was none.

“The first thing we want to do is find out why they left and see if there’s anything we can do to help them and get them back,” Pillsbury said of Coaches.

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