BY KATHERINE LAZARUS
BRANDON — Over the next few months, the town of Brandon can expect some new additions to the downtown business community, including a new café at The Brandon Inn, a Dunkin Donuts and more where the Mobil gas station used to be (across from The Bookstore), Hannaford is slated to do some remodeling, and an auction site will go where the old Aubuchon used to be.
Breakfast, coffee, tea, quick sandwiches, and pastries will be served at a new Neshobe Café located within the Brandon Inn. Slated to open in three to four weeks, the café will be in the newly renovated room to the left of The Brandon Inn that used to be a sunroom and library.
Owner and Innkeeper Joel MacClaren who runs the inn with his wife Darcy spent $300,000 on renovations that included building the café, adding three bathrooms to the first floor, and restoring the swimming pool.
“I’m excited about all the energy this will bring into the building,” MacClaren said.
The McKernon Group constructed the new café space by taking out the walls and windows between the rooms inside and restoring the look “for more of a historical appearance to keep the integrity of the historic building,” MacClaren said.
The Neshobe Café will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at first, then, as they pick up more staff, staying open until 2 p.m. There will be seating in the café and extra room on the porch. “A café that’s open each day and has traffic and activity would make it easier for people to feel comfortable in the inn.”
MacClaren is thinking about adding a gift shop in the future, but has not made any renovation plans.
A 2,000-square-foot Dunkin Donuts, gas pumps, and a 1,700-square-foot two-bay Tenneybrook Car Wash—the only car wash in Brandon—are coming to 9 ½ Conant Square in the lot across from The Bookstore this fall.
President of Donuts of Rutland Inc. Laura Merone Walsh, 54, and President of Midway Oil Corp., Frank Trombetta, 58, partnered for the project they have been planning for 10 to 15 years. So far, the team installed a canopy and completed the pump and chain work, with a new pipeline sewer system installed by the town as a part of Segment Six.
“I’m so happy to see this happen. It’s the culmination of a lot of people’s work over the years to improve the property in Brandon, which has made so many strides over the last years,” said Trombetta. Also, the town is adding more parking for downtown visitors behind the facility.
Excited about these prospects, Trombetta likes that he is keeping the gas because “traditionally it’s been a gas station. Brandon has grown and it’s right on Route 7, so it’s a good stopping point.”
The rumors are true that Hannaford will be undergoing some changes this summer. Director of Community Relations and External Communications Eric Blom confirmed that their work “will give the supermarket a fresh look and is part of our regular investment in remodeling stores over time to ensure they continue to serve customers’ needs.” The Reporter will update this story as more information is released.
AUCTION AT AUBUCHON
The Brandon Chamber of Commerce will be using the empty space at 10 Center Street that used to be an Aubuchon Hardware as an auction space for the foreseeable future and until other tenants want that space.