A Valley News Publication

Phnom Penh Sandwich Station to open a second location in the Polka Dot Restaurant building in WRJ

The Polka Dot building in White River Junction, Vt., on May 8, 2018, is one of the properties owned by developer Mike Davidson’s Execusuite. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

One more thing after our away message announcing that we’re off until June 4, bc it’s BREAKING SANDWICH NEWS:

· White River Junction is getting a Cambodian sandwich shop in the old Polka Dot diner building.

· Phnom Penh Sandwich Station, which already has a building in downtown Lebanon, plans to open a second spot.

· They have signed a lease and hope to open later this summer.

The team behind developer Mike Davidson, who manages properties under the LLC Execusuite that bought the long-shuttered Polka Dot earlier this year, said as much in an email to Valley News business reporter John Lippman this afternoon. Execusuite won site development plan approval last month from the Hartford Planning Commission.

“Welcoming yet another family business to Downtown WRJ is a source of pride for our entire team,” said Tim Sidore, general manager of Ledgeworks, which manages Execusuite commercial and residential properties in White River Junction and Lebanon. “We’ve worked hard to bring a diverse collection of dining,entertainment and housing options to Hartford and Sarin Tin’s operation will be a welcome addition!”

Phnom Penh Sandwich Station is owned and run by the wife-and-husband team Lay Yi of Sarin Tin, who began selling their Cambodian-style sandwiches at the Hanover Farmers Market in 2016 and then from a food truck (way before food trucks were cool in the Upper Valley) before finally graduating to their own storefront on High Street in Lebanon last year. (Also, it’s home to one of my favorite sandwiches in the Upper Valley — the Phnom Penh sandwich with tofu — so there’s that.)

Davidson, who owns a cluster of commercial and residential properties along South Main Street in White River Junction, bought The Polka Dot diner building from previous owner Mary Shatney for $90,000 in February.

(No word yet on whether Polka Dot will be incorporated into the name of the second location. Sidore has previously said the company was searching for a tenant who would keep “Polka Dot.”)

Sreang Tin cooks over the grill in Phnom Penh Sandwich Station on May 19, 2016, in Lebanon, N.H. Lay Yi his daughter-in-law works beside him. (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Here is Sidore’s email to the Valley News in full:

Execusuite, LLC and Phnom Penh Sandwiches Station, LLC of Lebanon are excited to announce they have signed a lease agreement for the iconic Polka Dot Restaurant space in downtown White River Junction. Phnom Penh’s array of authentic Cambodian food has proven to be a winner in Lebanon, and their second location will be a welcome addition to the Vermont side of the river.


Execusuite and Ledgeworks, Inc, area redeveloper Mike Davidson’s real estate holding and management companies, respectively, are proud to restore this beloved jewel of WRJ’s past. Resisting calls to raze the former diner, the Polka Dot now becomes Davidson’s latest restoration. Recent projects include the conversions of the former Lebanon Junior High School, College Cleaners, and Roy’s Gulf Station (now Lucky’s Coffee Garage).


Welcoming yet another family business to Downtown WRJ is a source of pride for our entire team. We’ve worked hard to bring a diverse collection of dining, entertainment and housing options to Hartford and Sarin Tin’s operation will be a welcome addition!


Work is already underway at the Polka Dot, including replacement of the heating and electrical systems, expansion and remodeling of the bathrooms, and interior/exterior repairs and restoration. Sarin Tin, the proprietor, anticipates opening for business later this summer and looks forward to meeting the WRJ community. In the meantime, he looks forward to welcoming you to his Lebanon restaurant!



UV INDEX Away Message: g2g brb see ya June 4 lol

Worked so hard, forgot how to vacation. 

After weeks spent launching news quizzes, reviewing Kidz Bop songs, monitoring the Upper Valley’s food truck situation, investigating mysterious helicopters and keeping you up-to-date on which ice cream stands are open, we’ve decided to take a little break.

Maggie and I will both be on vacation, starting today, for the next week. But don’t miss us too much — we’ll be back to our usual shenanigans on Monday, June 4.

In the meantime, you can take our latest news quiz (which is a special two-week version!) and see if you can’t score a UV INDEX pin. Winners and runners-up will be announced on Friday, June 8.

You also can poke through our archive and catch up on all the goodies you might have missed.

See you in a week! ?

“BYE!” said Amanda, left, and Maggie.

Lucky 7 News Quiz, No. 4: You have until June 7 for a chance to win!


If you’re on an smartphone or tablet, please click here for a mobile-friendly link to the quiz!


Continue on to the quiz below! (Note: There’s a scrolly bar.)


Going forward, you could possibly win a pin even if you fail (lol). We will be awarding a UV pin and sticker packs to up to three of the top scorers (folks who score 7 out of 7), PLUS drawing another random winner from EVERYBODY who participated that week!


UV INDEX is taking the week of May 27-June 2 off. So you have an extra week to complete this quiz! Get it done by June 7 for a chance to win.


Thanks so much to everyone who took our first Lucky 7 News Quiz!!!! Just like last week, we’re STILL feeling generous, so we’re giving away pins and sticker packs to everybody who aced it, plus one of several people who scored 6-of-7.


CONGRATS! Comment on Facebook or email us at uvindex@vnews.com to let us know if you want to come by the Valley News to pick up your loot or if we should pop ’em in the mail.


Q: Nick Zwirblia used his 10 years living in the Upper Valley as background for his book, “The Bramford Chronicles, Book I.” What was Zwirblia’s nickname when he worked at Dartmouth College from 1986 to 1995?
A: Happy Hop Guy.

Q: How many years elapsed between Thetford Academy alumna Rita Brown DeGoosh’s 1,000-point basketball milestone and the ceremony honoring her achievement?
A: 56.

Q: What is the purpose of the bulb-outs being installed on Bethel roads?
A: Bulb-outs help to calm traffic.

Q: In discussing a building boom in White River Junction, former Hartford Selectboard member Ken Parker described a time when the streets were “chockablock full” of people at both 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. When was that, according to Parker?
A: The late 1940s and early 1950s.

Q: According to a Jim Kenyon column, Thetford resident Christopher Wren wrote that “___________ is a great way to perpetuate the curiosity you developed as a child.”
A: Journalism.

Q: As part of a class project, what are students and adults sharing in Lyme as a way to get to know each other?
A: Hand-written letters kept in a journal.

Q: UV INDEX lucky No. 7: Why did Nick Fabrikant use a “crystal element” in the design of his bench, installed in downtown Hanover in 2013?
A: His parents, who ran the Rosey Jekes clothing store, got their start by selling crystals in the street.


They can find this page at www.vnews.com/lucky7 or uvindex.vnews.com/lucky7.

Win a pin!

It’s the unofficial start to lake & yard sale seasons