Old Market to be new Subway

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BRATTLEBORO — An old market on Putney Road is being converted into a Subway by the same man who owns a sandwich shop downtown.

"We've been in Brattleboro for more than 10 years," said Wayland Benbow, who lives in Middletown, Conn., but hopes to move to southern Vermont soon. "We have a great following. We love the town and the town loves us."

Benbow said he has no plans at this time to close his Main Street shop and is opening the Putney Road shop to

appeal to folks getting on and off the highway.

"We'll probably have expanded hours," he said. "Going to stay open later and have an early breakfast."

The North End Market has been vacant for about a year, and over the past month or so, Benbow's contractor has been working on the interior.

"It's not going to look like any Subway you've seen before," he said.

Because there is no substantial change of use, said Brattleboro Zoning Administrator Brian Bannon, Benbow didn't have to go before the Development Review Board for a site plan approval. He will have to go before the board for a sign permit. Parking will also remain as is, Bannon said, but there might be some changes when the state begins its long-anticipated work on Putney Road to include four new roundabouts — one right in front of the future Subway.

The $30 million road project will likely not get underway for at least another five years. It also includes sidewalks on both sides of the road and roundabouts at the intersection of Landmark Hill Drive and Technology Drive, at Chickering Drive and at Royal Plaza, which contains the Hannaford Supermarket.

"We are aware of the rotary," said Benbow. "Ultimately, it will benefit us."

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Although Benbow will lose parking in front of the building, the entrance to the sandwich shop will be where the sign for the Black Mountain Inn now stands.

"We're actually going to be able to double the amount of parking," he said.

He said he is excited to be introducing some new items to the Brattleboro area, including a vegan meatball sandwich.

"Everyone's been talking about the Impossible Burger. Well, we'll be introducing impossible meatballs."

The building houses an old, thick-walled cork cooler made by United Cork Companies in Kearny, N.J., sometime between 1910 and 1930.

"That's a piece of history," said Benbow. He had hoped to relocate the cooler to a brew pub in Connecticut, but that recently fell through.

He said anyone interested in the cooler should contact him at wayland.benbow@greatclips.com.

Benbow and his brother own Subways across New England, including the one on Main Street in Keene, N.H. Benbow also owns the Great Clips franchise, with locations in Keene and Greenfield, Mass. While he has opened Great Clips in Vermont, none are on tap in Windham County as of yet, he said.

"We have some future plans," said Benbow, who declined to divulge what those plans are. "Stay tuned. There is so much more activity going on in Brattleboro that I can't comment on. But you'll see us."

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.


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