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July 22, 2011

Parima to Close in September … Sigh.

Well folks, another one bites the dust. And this one stings.

I've just gotten off the phone with Parima talent buyer, Joe Adler, who informed me that the venerable Thai restaurant/increasingly killer music venue will close its doors for good in September. The building was recently sold to another local business, which, for now, will remain anonymous until it has had a chance to inform its employees and make a formal announcement. Adler did note, however, that the plans for the new venture do not include entertainment. What a waste.

Parima 185 Pearl St Burlington
Adler said a blowout farewell party is planned for Saturday, September 17 featuring Jen Hartswick, Nick Cassarino and host of other local favorites. "It will be the craziest party you can imagine," he promised.

I don't know, Joe, I can imagine some pretty crazy parties. Although, I've been to several wild shindigs at Parima in recent months. Over the last year-plus, the juke joint has gone from being a fairly awkward place to see a show to one of the more consistently entertaining venues in town. From initiating the weekly Burgundy Thursday series and the monthly Full Moon Masquerade party to pulling in big ticket acts such as the Barr Brothers and Marco Benevento to lining up great local artists week in and week out, Adler and company have created a welcome addition to our cozy little music scene. Parima's impending closure will mean a big, honkin' void for local music fans this fall.

"It's been a great ride," he said. Indeed, Joe.

Parima will close its doors in September, but there is still a full calendar on tap in the meantime, including two shows this evening: an early gig with Rusty Belle, Flightless Buttress and Tommy Alexander, and then a late night throwdown with Bonjour-Hi!, Lazerdisk Party Sex, Craig Mitchell, DJ A-Dog, Mushpost, Bass Culture and DJ Disco Phantom.

For every tired old sleepy place that goes out, something new and fresh goes in it's place. If you want examples, go to the Farmhouse or Flatbread on any night of the week. They are packed. Places like those are raising the bar in Burlington for everyone else. Used to be VT Pub and Brew was where you went for a really good burger. Now their burgers taste like doggy doo. Welcome change and embrace it.

This is really awful news. I'm so saddened to hear that this is happening. I have so many great memories of seeing amazing bands at Parima, how could the new owners not embrace that? I don't care what local business is going in there, if they are going to undo all of the hard work Joe and others have done to make the music scene at Parima so great they should not have been sold the business. I can't tell you how upset this makes me.

Ted, the problem is that none of those places have music, except during jazzfest. There aren't many good venues for local music, of course there's still tons of places, but parima was a nice little haven for alternative musicians who didn't quite fit the mold of nectars or red square. For me Parima provided a safe place to get your chops, figure out how to perform and also feel very supported as a musician. More and more places these days (and I mean places that have live music) are either closing like parima or going the DJ route.

Part of the problem may be that there are more bands than there are people to seem them, but I digress.

Yes change is a good thing, but for now, and at least until Sept 17th, I'll be sad that it had to come to the doors of Parima.

I have to admit that I agree with Ted. There are other music venues around, most of which serve better food (no offense to the hard workers at Parima but it's the truth). Embrace change! We've seen some great places come into Burlington in recent years. Lets hope that whatever takes over the space - restaurant or otherwise - makes that end of Church St. interesting again. It has been too stuffy with the "same old, same old" for too long.

There is no other venue in Burlington that fills the same niche as Parima. Such an awesome room for music! It's a tremendous loss to the music scene in Burlington.

It's like Deja Vu all over again

Look at the reality of most downtown Burlington businesses.
It is a revolving door with many suffering and failing.
Is it the economy to blame? Yes partly.
Is it the location with what goes on downtown? Street hangers etc, yes partly.
Is it too much competition for the dollar? Yes partly.
But lets look at the biggest reason in the last five years.
Leadership by the Mayors office that is deceitful, does not give proper information to councilors, taxpayers, or business owners.
Please resign Mayor Kiss and let this city get back to an honest open relationship with taxpayers, business owners and tourists.


Are you trying to claim that the last 5 years have been worse for businesses on Church Street than any other period? And that this is the Mayor's fault? I'd love to see some stats to back this claim up. I'm one of the biggest critics of the Mayor but I think you're off base on this one. What does the Mayor's lack of leadership have to do with Parima closing?

I agree with the others that sometimes change is good. All i know is I was downtown last night and Church Street and the areas around it were packed. Farmhouse, Church and Main and all the other places were wicked busy. Apparently they weren't too put off by the "Street Hangers" (whatever the hell that is). I'm guessing you would prefer Burlington be just another uppity boring place to come and shop at high end stores and eat at overpriced places like Cheesecake Factory.

oh dear... I did surely enjoy the Parima music scene and general demeanor of that place... this is sad news. Joe did an awesome job bringing in great talent and helping the music roll on! and I always loved to see Daryl and Jip doing their best to make it happen... and let's not forget the awesome Aaron and other staff!! sometimes change is over rated... yes, it happens no matter what and it's always a good policy to make the most of REALITY... but dang... Parima as we've known it will be sorely missed!! I am soooo bumming over this news. Glad I got one last Burgundy Thursday to practice up for... August 25... thank you ALL for the great run... I love you Parima... you brought me a new world... robin

I was very sad to hear this news too,I have gone to Parima for many years for the food and the live music! I do agree though that change is good. While I agree the live music at Parima has been amazing over the past year especially, the service and food have gone downhill. Especially since they decided to close. If you can't handle the crowds and feed them, don't...

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