We have searched, and been sought out by, many towns in the last (3) years while seeking the ideal spot, and right deal, for our next restaurant. Maybe a Stones…maybe not. :)
Realtors, town officials, builders and current owners have contacted us from as far north as Manchester and Nashua, as far South as Assembly and Fenway, as far West as Westford and Littleton, Westboro and Worcester. We have searched East from Tewksbury to Andover and North Andover—from Haverhill to Newburyport. Along the way we have also been contacted by folks from Groton, Concord, Burlington (3), Billerica (3), Lowell and Haverhill to name many, but not all. Thus far we have passed for any number of reasons: too big, too small, too expensive to build, too expensive a rent structure, no day pop, too remote, etc. Along our search so many of these folks have been so very welcoming, professional and positive about their towns and their pursuit of a quality restaurant. Then, there’s Tyngsboro.
Until a town committee meeting last week, Tyngsboro was very high on our list of probability and sentimentality. We have a good friend developing a favorable location just off exit 34. We have also lived in Tyngsboro, raising our family there, for nearly 23 years. We have had amazing neighbors, made many great friends, many Tyngsboro residents have supported our two restaurants and we loved our town. All very exciting, right? But after attending the meeting at Town Hall regarding my friend’s project, at his request, and listening to some of the town selectmen grill his builders like they were suspects in a courtroom trial—“What do you have to say about that?” (Asked the silly-sounding 22 year old who wants Tyngsboro to be more like Mashpee on Cape Cod), I’m not so sure anymore that it’s the welcoming climate we seek. Especially after the incredibly unprofessional, nasty-rude way I was bullied by the selectmen chair (an actual elected official acting more like my angry grandpappy) when I dared to suggest that Tyngsboro could use more exciting projects—a town that has sometimes felt a bit, well, sleepy. Whoa, did I touch dude’s nerve. You’d think I had called this bullies mother a nasty word. It’s too bad and it made me wonder if the town’s residents know that this is how business people considering Tyngsboro are treated. There are many great people in that town and we have thought it a great place to consider doing business in. But if it wasn’t for my concern for my friend’s best interest that night…Just sayin’. Richard.
Speaking of Tyngsboro, we stopped for a drink at one of the nicer places there just a couple nights later (NO, not the Blue Moon!) and my wife asked for one of those large ice cubes that another couple had in their Manhattan. The bartender said sure. He then then reached into the freezer, grabbed one by the hand, walked over to her drink and slid the fisted cube plunk into her drink. She and I just looked at each other–so close to laughing out loud, amazed, offended and amused!
Much like the feeling I had at that meeting. A great big handful of clown twice in one week.