OXFORD — A chain restaurant is looking to move to town, Town Manager Michael Chammings said Friday.
Chammings said it's not a sure thing yet, and he couldn't identify the chain. “They haven't released their name, and they're still looking at properties,” he said. Chammings said companies are usually secretive when scouting for new locations.
He didn't confirm or deny a rumor, repeated by residents at Thursday's Board of Selectmen meeting and elsewhere, that Applebee's is considering a move to Oxford.
A spokesman for Applebee's did not return a call asking for confirmation.
The chain restaurant would be the first business to take advantage of increased tourism on the Route 26 corridor since the opening of the Oxford Casino last June.
Chammings said the interested chain restaurant would be a family restaurant, which he said was important because children can't eat at the casino's restaurant. State law bars the casino from allowing anyone under 21 to enter.
He said residents can expect to see a standalone restaurant built on the Route 26 corridor this year. He said there's a “good chance” the town will also see a combined motel and restaurant open, as well.
Chammings said he expects business interest to increase this year as the town builds its sewer system and wastewater treatment plant on the Route 26 corridor. "It makes the property a lot more attractive."