Adapted from the show
Handy tricks known only to insiders and veterans (until now)
Every great institution has its secrets, those unpublished, rarely mentioned, sometimes denied ins-and-outs that separate the truly cool from the uninitiated. Like the peanut butter and bacon burger at Shake Shack or the hidden bunker at the Greenbrier, only those in the know have access. High Point Market is no different. Now, a few cognoscenti, whose names have been withheld for obvious reasons, agreed to give us the 411.
The Secret Passageway
Foul weather will undoubtedly rain on your Market parade some day. That’s the day you’ll be glad you know about the secret passageway that links the big IHFC building at the Transportation Terminal to the Market Square, Commerce & Design, and 220 Elm buildings, three blocks away. This little-known byway can be a bit tricky to navigate, but it’s a lifesaver (hair saver, shoe saver) when the weather gets a little wet.
Exit the IHFC Commerce Wing next to the Interhall café, and stay under the covered walkway as you cross Wrenn Street. Enter IHFC Main, and proceed through the building to exit to the Main Street exit (stand underneath the awning until traffic clears). Open your umbrella and dash across Main Street just as soon as the traffic control officer gives you the go-ahead. You have just completed the only wet part of the trip. Enter the Furniture Plaza building, walk past the American Furniture Hall of Fame wall, go up the escalator, and turn left. You’ll see a sign above the hallway that reads “Skywalk to C&D Building, Suites at Market Square, Historic Market Square.” Follow that sign.
When you reach the end of the Skywalk, go straight ahead for 220 Elm, or make two rights and enter the Commerce & Design Building (2nd floor). Or you can take a right, then a left to enter Suites at Market Square on the mezzanine level.
Remote Conference Rooms
The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library at 1009 North Main Street is a beautiful, historic space that offers more than it appears. Although the nonprofit is home to more than 5,000 titles concerning the history, illustration and inspiration of home furnishings, the secret of the Library isn’t the books. It’s the meeting rooms, which they offer to Market goers in exchange for a tax-deductible donation.
Whether you need a presentation space for 40 or an intimate nook for 6, the Library has several rooms that can accommodate you and your colleagues. They even have audio/visual equipment for use, including an 80-inch computer monitor and a projector for those ubiquitous Power Point presentations. If your crowd is the hungry type, use the catering kitchen and have a meal or snacks brought in and served. But reserve early. These rooms go quickly.
Even long-timers may not know about the Boiler Room. This clandestine bar and grill is hidden among the warrens that make up the oldest part of Market Square. Don’t mistake “hidden” for “empty.” This place has a following and it can be tough to find a seat. Film junkies will find it worth the trip, as the Boiler Room was featured in the movie Hellraiser III.
Finding the Boiler Room is akin to locating a speakeasy. Exit the Suites at Market Square from the mezzanine level and turn right toward the Antique & Design Center. Take a left at the end of the hall, proceed straight ahead, then down a flight of stairs. The Boiler Room will be on your left. Luckily, no password is needed. It opens at 11am for lunch and the bar is open from 4pm to 7pm.
Your Market pass will open more than showroom doors. Without uttering so much as “open sesame” that color-coded card stock will get you access to the most exclusive club in town.
Flash that pass to the hostess at the High Point Country Club (formerly the Emerywood Country Club) and you can dine at member prices, sans membership fee. The club is located at 800 Country Club Drive, in the Emerywood neighborhood, about a mile from the Market center.
Surreptitious Shopping/Instant Gratification
The majority of finds at High Point Market must be ordered, but there are a few places that allow cash and carry. The best place to find take-home goods are in temporary spaces such as the Suites at Market Square, Showplace and IHFC Interhall. Since these vendors set up and take down all their merchandise twice a year, they are more likely to part with samples.
If you find something you want, ask if they are willing to sell it, but remember you won’t be able to take the merchandise with you until the last day of Market. Some vendors won’t sell any samples until the last day. No matter where you purchase, be prepared to show a bill of sale as you exit the building to prove it’s yours.
Whether you’ve been to High Point Market for two seasons or 20 years, these tips and tricks will make you look like a true insider. Use them to up your cool factor with customers and colleagues, or just to sneak in a few fun moments for yourself.