High-end restaurants like The Maestro 206, which recently closed, have been a difficult sell in an industrial and traffic-congested area of Route 206, Hillsborough's business advocate said.
According to Gene Strupinsky, the space at 150 Route 206, which previously housed another fine-dining restaurant in CoccoLa, would be best suited for a less-expensive eatery to accommodate the high amount of blue-collar workers in the area.
"I consider it a problem area for a high-priced restaurant," Strupinsky said. "It is in an industrial zone whose workers have neither the time nor the salary for lunch at Maestro's prices. Neither will there be a large demand for business lunches in this part of Hillsborough.
"The proximity to Somerville with all its restaurants doesn't help, either. A restaurant like Maestro would be better suited for Town Center. Where they were, they would need other restaurants or businesses that draw people to have a shot at survival."
Strupinsky said he's reached out to three of his restaurant contacts and none have expressed interest in the space. According to Strupinsky, one of The Maestro's owners may consider re-opening the restaurant if he can find investors.
Many they would like to see a Trader Joe's move into the location.
That's something on everyone's wish list, Strupinsky said.
"Hillsborough would love to have a Trader Joe's," he said.
However, the "industrial location, small size of the building all work against it," according to Strupinsky, who said Trader Joe's has been targeting Bridgewater as a possible new location in the area.
The size of the location and the traffic configuration would also likely prevent a type of sports complex, as some readers suggested, from moving into the location.
"A possibility," Strupinsky said. "The negatives are that the existing building isn't suitable and the potentially large amount of traffic that this type of business could attract would be a problem at this spot on Route 206 without a traffic signal and being close to the trucks exiting the VA Depot.
"Perhaps a right in/right out only traffic pattern might help or after Route 206 is widened in this area and a Jersey barrier is put in, but that is years away and hopefully something will be in the Maestro's building well before then."