Open-Air Market Planned for Former Howard Johnson’s Site

White River Junction — An open-air market is expected to be up and running this month in the parking lot of the old Howard Johnson’s restaurant across from the Veterans Affairs medical center on Route 5, the owner said last week.

The market, which received state regulatory approval earlier this month, will have 33 open-air booths for vendors and nine spaces for owners to sell cars, said Mark Pippin.

Nine of the outdoor spots will be reserved for professional vendors who sell from trailers or vans, he said.

“There are a lot of people who are selling their cars along the side of the road by just putting up a sign. I think that these spaces will give them a better location with good exposure. I think they will be popular,” Pippin said.

The small market spaces also will fill a need for people who want to sell things part-time and don’t want to pay a lot of rent, he said.

“We’re going to have a food cart and try to make it fun for families and everybody who want to spend part of their weekend there.”

The market will be open on Saturdays and Sundays for nine months a year, closing in January, February and March. Inside the building, which is partially occupied by the Bargain Barn, Pippin is adding other smaller spaces for people who want to set up more permanent shops and be open regular daily sales hours, he said.

Pippin, who started Cloverleaf Gifts, which is now operated by his wife and daughter, bought the closed restaurant a few years ago. Initially, he tried to find another restaurant to lease the building that would complement the nearby hotels.

But because of the downturn in the economy he couldn’t find a restaurant tenant and he leased part of the building to the Bargain Barn.

“I think the new market and the spaces in the building will complement the Bargain Barn,” Pippin said.

The market will bring in revenue from the remainder for the 12,000-square-foot building and from its 100-car parking lot until a more permanent tenant can be found, he said.


Mark Pippin is the owner of the former Howard Johnson's restaurant in White River Junction. His last name was misspelled in a story in an earlier version of this story.