It sounds like the diner/deli will be a second location in addition to The Public House pub about a quarter-mile down the road on Route 4.
On Facebook, CJ’s Tavern — the restaurant formerly known as CJ’s at Than Wheelers in downtown White River Junction, who moved to the red building in Quechee in 2015 — wrote:
After a lengthy negotiations process with our landlord, the CJ’s family has decided to close the doors. (July 30 was) our final day in business. Thank you for your support and friendship over the last 9 years. It’s been a pleasure.
A version of CJ’s operated as the basement pub in the Gates-Briggs building in downtown White River Junction starting in the early ’70s, but closed its doors there in summer 2014, and that space is still empty.
From a Valley News report by John Lippman on Aug. 9 of that year:
Christene Demers, who runs the tavern with her husband, Joe, and her parents, Chris and Debbie Riley, posted the announcement on Facebook. …
“Tonight all of us at CJ’s regret to inform you that after many failed attempts to negotiate a lease agreement with the building owners, CJ’s At Than Wheelers will be closing from its current location in the Gates-Briggs building on August 13, 2014,” the announcement read. “We would like to thank you all so much for the amazing run!”
Than Wheeler’s Tavern has been on South Main Street in White River Junction since about 1972, according to Joe Demers. Christene and Joe Demers took over the restaurant five and a half years ago, christening it “CJ’s” after their first initials.
Joe Demers said business was strong, but his family and the Briggs family, who own the Gates-Briggs building and the Hotel Coolidge, couldn’t reach terms for a lease renewal. The Briggs’ lawyer, William Donahue, had sent the Demers an eviction notice that gave them until Sept. 15 to move out, but they have opted to leave earlier.
(Christene and Joe Demers reached out to underscore that they have not been part of the CJ’s LLC in almost two years. They’re currently employed at the Quechee Gorge Village, where they said they have “always found the landlord … to be nothing short of amazing.”)
In Quechee, CJ’s was the first full-service bar to open at the Quechee Gorge Village.
In addition to the announcement, CJ’s posted this photo of the late White River Junction icon Lewis Lahaye, better known as Louie.
All of this comes on the heels of some other restaurant news in the heart of the Upper Valley: Shyrl Rafus is putting out feelers online for a new location for her diner after the West Lebanon building where she rents a space was sold at auction.
(Edited for clarity on Aug. 3.)