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Stowe: Retire For Good Or Start Your Own Restaurant?

After a long hiatus, we're back on the East Coast in the most famous of Vermont's quaint mountain towns, Stowe. The quiet, rolling farmland and steep mountains of northern Vermont are the perfect respite for careerists driven mad by a lifetime of work, traffic, and noise in New York or Boston, and plenty of beautiful farmhouse-inspired homes lie in wait to absorb that crowd. But at the moment there's also a particularly beautiful restaurant space for sale for the type-A folks who just can't stay idle and want to focus that energy on a second and more fulfilling career: that of the professional foodie. For under $2 million, you could have it either way. Which would you choose?

? 16 Ollies Lane makes a pretty good case for taking it easy in Vermont. The 3396 square feet include gorgeous teak floors, a light green and white paint job that lends a light, airy feel to the interior, a chef's kitchen with soapstone counters, a movie theater room, and four bedrooms and bathrooms. The heated garage will make for a comfortable ski tuning venue, while the nearly 3 acres of wooded property allow for plenty of tromping around with the family dog with great views of Mount Mansfield. On the market for $1,150,000.

· 16 Ollie's Lane, Stowe, Vermont [Pall Spera Company Realtors]

? Of course, with modern pop culture lending chefs nearly as much sex appeal as professional athletes, nothing brings the spunk back to life like retiring from your banking/medical/law career and gaining a whole new host of headaches by starting your own boutique restaurant in some heavenly locale. If that sounds good to you, then the former home of the Santos latin restaurant near the center of Stowe has got your number. This 8,000 square foot contemporary space was built in 2009 by Stowe-based traditional New England home builder Gordon Dixon, with full thematic decor decorating the ground floor restaurant space, which includes a nice bar space and a clean commercial kitchen. The upstairs hosts three separate live-in units perfect for housing staff or you and yours should finances or micro-managing tendencies forbid you from shacking up away from your new office. Selling for $1,900,000.

· 311 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont [Century 21]

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