SUDBURY — In a change of plans, the owner of the former Acapulcos restaurant site on Route 20 is seeking to sell the parcel to a group that plans to open a new restaurant there.
The news comes months after reports that Steven Ross, who owns the property through his Natick-based company, Red Bear LLC, had planned to retain a tenant that would construct a Sol de Mexico restaurant.
“I’ve decided to switch gears and to sell the land with the restaurant approvals (that were made by the town) and I’m going to have my broker list it for sale,” Ross told the Daily News.
‘A lot of interest in it’: Sudbury restaurant must either repair its location or move out
The property, at 694 Boston Post Road (Route 20), housed Mexican eatery Acapulcos for more than 20 years before it closed in 2021. It was previously one of the earliest locations of the 99 Restaurant & Pub chain.
Ross has owned the property since 1999. He had a long-term lease with Acapulcos, which still has seven other locations including those in Milford and Franklin.
Restaurant building razed due to volume of repairs needed
“I had a long-term lease with Acapulcos, but toward the end they really just didn’t keep up the maintenance of the building, and the town shut them down,” Ross said. The building was in such disrepair that he had it demolished last year.
Then, earlier this year, Ross appeared before the Sudbury Planning Board, saying he had a new tenant lined up. That was Sol de Mexico, also a Mexican restaurant that has locations in Bellingham, Milford and Taunton. It also operated a restaurant in Natick before closing it earlier this year.
Steady growth: Sol de Mexico opening new restaurant in Milford
But Ross has since announced plans to sell the property to a new owner, with the new space already being approved by the town for a restaurant to replace Acapulcos. Ross said one of the major issues with the old site, an outdated septic system, has been replaced and is ready to serve the next restaurant.
“I kept the foundation and got all new approvals from the town and I have all of those in place, and that really took so long and I couldn’t start the construction, so I decided that I’d sell the land and let someone else build a restaurant and open the property,” Ross explained. “We don’t know who’s going to move in. Presumably whoever buys the land is already a restaurant owner or investor. A brand-new septic system has been installed and I spent a lot of money getting the approvals and everything done.”
Sol de Mexico did not respond to request for comment.
The property is listed for sale by CRG Commercial. According to the $1.74 million listing, the site is approved for a 140-seat restaurant that can cover up to 4,200 square feet.