Portsmouth ZBA Approves Yoken's Sign

The Yoken's sign was a Portsmouth landmark for over 50 years until the restaurant closed in 2004. For many years the sign sat exposed to the elements, rusting away, long after the Yoken's building had been demolished. Every time I drove by I thought it was a shame that such an iconic part of Route 1 was slowly deteriorating into a piece of scrap metal.

Last night the Portsmouth Zoning Board of Adjustment agreed 5 to 1 to allow the sign to be restored and placed in the same spot as the original. The repair and reconditioning process will cost in excess of $40,000. The businesses located at the new Yoken's Plaza should be commended for their effort to restore a part of Portsmouth history.

The lone vote against allowing the sign to be restored reasoned that no business in the plaza was named Yoken's. He also said that the neighboring Market Basket Plaza did not have a sign on Route 1. Both of these are logical arguments, but the ZBA acknowledged the great benefit and significance that the sign would have to the city of Portsmouth.


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