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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pearl's to become a Papa John's (updated)

The Burlington Free Press has the scoop this morning — 135 Pearl will close June 3 and become a Papa John's pizzeria, with apartments on the 2nd floor. I had heard as much Monday, but I thought it was being kept quiet. Guess it was actually front-page news!

Glad the Freep covered it so extensively. My only comment is that three of their four non-Pearl's sources — Peggy Luhrs, Clark Sheldon and Bob Bolyard — work at R.U.1.2? Community Center, located conveniently half a block from the bar. The story makes it sound as if they're just random people the reporter found walking around, when in fact I'm betting that either Brent or John walked down the street to R.U.1.2? and asked folks for their opinions. Why wouldn't they mention that? Seems strange to me.

I know this is off-line news, but it's a pretty big deal for the cultural life of Vermont's biggest city.

UPDATE: Here's 135 Pearl owner Robert Toms on VPR. I think it's toward the end.

May 10, 2006 at 08:58 AM in House Rules | Permalink


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I can't believe it is going to be Papa John's. I first knew it in S FL where I'm from, and then it was in DC, and now it is here -- why can't I escape it?? And traditional pizza? Then why does it come with dipping sauce?

It has been a really long time, perhaps I should give them another try. OK, maybe not (give me a thin crisp crust!).

Now why can't Chik-fil-a follow me? Now there's some good fast food!

Posted by: evening | May 10, 2006 11:42:03 AM

I think you are asking too much of the Free Press reporters to expect them to walk around downtown until they find three people who are part of the 135 Pearl community. Doesn't it make sense for them to do one stop shopping?

It seems like they should have mentioned it, though. Especially since the article makes it sound as if there are no social options left for the people who go there.

Posted by: anonymous | May 10, 2006 1:22:56 PM

I wouldn't expect them to walk around town. It makes total sense to me that they would go to RU12? That's probably what I'd do. But why not say that's what they did? I mean, I don't know for sure that's what they did, but it seems likely considering that all three of their "person on the street" sources are RU12? employees.

They could also have stopped by Pearl's at night and talked to some customers.

But these are minor points. It was a good and useful article.

Posted by: cresmer | May 10, 2006 1:54:14 PM

Jeez, I can't believe Pearl's is turning into a Papa John's of all things... but this piece of news is just bizarre enough to be true. It used to be Burlington's only "gay bar" (though of course everyone was welcome) - is that still the case? When I was growing up, it was one of only a couple decent places to dance in B-town. Very sad.

Posted by: Yankunian | May 11, 2006 6:30:45 AM

I heard that the reporter didn't even walk down to RU12. He called RU12.

And it's true "anonymous", without Pearls, us gays have no social options.

Posted by: Chris | May 11, 2006 3:41:52 PM

I don't feel sorry for Robert Toms at all. He ran that place into the ground with his wonderful "Business Vision."

The Free Press article was a joke. All of that Whoo Haa about how all of the young people are on the Internet: part of what closed down 135 was the fact that you NEVER saw anyone over the age of 30 there.

It's also interesting that on their web site, it thanks everyone for 22 years.

That Bar used to be a great place to go to. It was hopping.

After Tom's took it over, it was filled with bedroom DJ's who played music that only they liked, snotty bartenders and rude doorstaff.

Although I will be sad to see Burlington without a Gay Bar, it's honestly been that way for years.

Posted by: native vermonter | May 23, 2006 12:57:52 PM

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