Chipotle Mexican Grill and Aroma Joe’s Next Up on Plaistow Road

Developer Stephen Stapinski shows plans for the $4.5 million Plaistow Road complex during a meeting of the Haverhill Conservation Commission last year. (WHAV News photograph.)

Burritos, tacos and other fast food and a coffee company that promises “no intercoms, no mistakes, no attitudes” will soon join the menu at Haverhill’s northern restaurant row.

Chipotle Mexican Grill and Aroma Joe’s are coming to a new $4.5 million plaza of five shops at 89 Plaistow Road. They join the previously announced Five Guys sandwich shop and Kobe Buddha House. By this summer, builders hope to add a fifth dining establishment near the Plaistow, N.H., border. Developer Stephen Stapinski said Haverhill offers compelling benefits for food-related businesses.

“It’s exciting and the reason is that the meals tax is less in Massachusetts than in New Hampshire. That’s an impetus for restaurants to be Haverhill rather than Plaistow,” he explained. Stapinski also noted “Haverhill has services like water and sewer that Plaistow does not offer” and “an extremely competitive tax rate.” More importantly, he said the plaza is privately funded and doesn’t need any state subsidies or tax breaks.

Stapinski, who is developing the site with King Weinstein, added. “National tenants feel comfortable and want to locate in Haverhill.” They developers also own the adjacent Jimmy K’s restaurant building. Their Water Street Retail is known for developments in Greater Boston, New Hampshire and southern Maine.

“This is the last parcel left on Main Street at the New Hampshire line,” Stapinski said.

He said Aroma Joe’s building is currently under construction. It will feature drive-through service amd small number of seats. Chipotle, with about 65 seats, will begin going up in March with expected completion by August or September. At about the same time, construction of Kobe Buddha House will commence.

Kobe will occupy about 6,500 square feet of the building. Owner Zhui Chen told Haverhill License Commission members last week the restaurant will have 232 seats. The business was granted a full liquor license, pending approval from the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission in Boston. Another 3,000 feet of adjacent space will be available to another tenant, Stapinski said.

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