Debate Over Harwich Port Restaurant Continues

HARWICH PORT – A debate took place at the January 8th selectmen’s meeting in Harwich on the possibility of a new restaurant at Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Port.

At last year’s town meeting, a snack shack at the site, with a cost of $300,000, was approved by voters.

A sixty seat restaurant has been discussed, but Town Administrator Chris Clark said it may need to be bigger.

“What we have been told by some members of the business community is that, because of the seasonal nature of the business, a hundred seat restaurant will be necessary to make a project economically viable for a private interest,” he said.

The current proposal would have a private developer commit to at least a thirty year lease. They would be responsible for all construction, but would pay no taxes.

When the lease expires, the building would return to the town.

Selectman Don Howell explained one reason that many residents are against the idea.

“The fact that it’s a unique property, is on the harbor and that the town is ceding that to a private interest,” he said.

The property was purchased by the town for $825,000. There may be the need to acquire more land for parking at a considerable cost.

Any proposal would have to be approved by the selectmen and town meeting.

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