Several stallholders at a town's market said they were quitting rather than moving to a £4.7m replacement facility.
Some traders in Great Yarmouth, many of whom have been operating for generations, said the new covered stalls being built were too small.
The borough council said its new canopied market, partly on the same site, would be "a more attractive place for shoppers".
The first phase of the market is expected to open in January.
Brewer's Chip Saloon will have served the town for 120 years in 2022 and owner, Robin Platten, said the council had not listened to traders.
"We always asked for space. We just needed something that was fit for purpose, for us to fit our equipment into," he said.
For 75 years Barrie's Tea Stall has been serving drinks and hot snacks.
Mel Wilson, who took over the stall 17 years ago with husband Jimmy, said they would shut for good on Christmas Eve.
"It's not how we wanted to go. We would have loved to have embraced the market and everything, but what we're being offered is just awful compared to what we've already got," she said.
"It's a shame as they're going to rip the heart out of the town centre."
Blake's Butchers was founded 100 years ago and Philip Blake, 63, said the shorter one-year leases being offered would lead to "fly-by-night" stallholders.
"Not being funny, but I think they'll be selling little bits and pieces, and like Norwich market, next time you go, it's gone," he said.
He said he was the fourth generation of his family to work on the stall and he would probably retire now.
In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "Our new market place is designed to be a more attractive place for shoppers to come to, and we are pleased that the majority of current stallholders have decided to stay with us.
"We know a handful of stalls have decided that the move isn't for them and we will be sorry to see them go, but the majority of traders choosing to remain will enjoy long-term leases for the first time and a much more pleasant environment for them and their customers."