Arthur Redding said he has seen Hudson change many times over the years, but perhaps the most dramatic transformation has been in the downtown business district in the past decade.
The area has rebounded well after being hit hard by the recession. “A few years ago we had 30 empty spots on Main Street, and now we have none,’’ the 63-year-old father of one said. “Ninety percent of the buildings have had some sort of rehab done on them to make them look good.’’
For Redding, founder of Hudson Appliance downtown and a 1972 graduate of Hudson High School, this Middlesex County community is a combination of new, fresh ideas and small-town familiarity. There’s still a good chance of running into an old friend on Main Street or knowing the teller who’s handling your deposit, but there are also new businesses and recreational opportunities opening up at a good pace, he said, noting that the new high school was completed in 2004 and Quinn Middle School welcomed pupils in 2013.
“There’s been a lot of concentration on making it a good school department for the kids, and the town has put a lot into that,’’ Redding said.
Redding, who was on the Division of Recreation for 29 years, also touts the youth sports offerings and Children’s After School Programs (CHAPS Inc.), which serves about 600 children.
The Assabet River flows through this middle-class community, providing nice views from Wood Park and the public library. The high school’s Morgan Bowl, with its stone wall, is one of the area’s most creative football settings.
People have moved on and a new, younger generation is gaining a foothold, but the town still stays together, Redding said. “Even among our businesses downtown, there’s still a neighborhood feeling.’’
How many bunches of fresh mint go into a batch of New City Microcreamery’s mint chocolate chip ice cream. The small-batch ice cream maker uses a liquid nitrogen freezing process to ensure the creamiest texture.
The number of customers Victor’s ’50s Diner serves each week. Open since 2007, the restaurant is known for its breakfasts, particularly skillet dishes.
Combined state titles since 1951 for Hudson High School’s baseball and softball teams. The most recent being softball’s 2010 crown.
The number of lanes at Riverside Gun Club’s indoor shooting range. The facility also features indoor and outdoor archery ranges, three outdoor gun ranges, three shotgun fields, and a stocked trout pond.
When Hudson was incorporated using parts of Marlborough and Stow
James Abundis/Globe staff
There’s plenty to do, even in winter
In addition to parks, including a skatepark, Hudson has roller skating at Roller Kingdom, indoor shooting at New England AirGun and Riverside Gun Club, and even PuzzlEscape, an escape room adventure. For the older crowd, there’s Amaia Martini Bar and Medusa Brewing Company. New City Microcreamery boasts a modern speakeasy with old-fashioned drink recipes, and The Rail Trail Flatbread Co. has an impressive craft beer selection.
Hudson’s business district has grown quickly, but there is still very limited parking on Main Street, especially on the weekends.
Jon Mael is a freelance writer based in Sharon. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.