hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

March 27, 2014

Key downtown location empty -- again

By Bill Cantwell
Gazette Editor

---- — 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.

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 April of last year.

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.

Pillsbury said other restaurants have been successful in the old Whittier Hotel location in the past, but that others have come and gone fairly quickly.

“Restaurants are tough businesses,” Pillsbury said. “But we hope to get them back or get someone else in there because it is such a prominent location.”