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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Algebars is closing

Algebars, Burlington's high-tech second floor gaming lounge, is closing. After 2 1/2 years, owners Ross and Lauren Burrell have decided to call it quits. Ken Picard reports on it this week.

Some of their disappointed young clients are trying to keep them open. They've started a petition asking the city to fund Algebars as a kind of community center.

I can't find the petition online, but if you email me, I can send you the kid's email address. Or you could try contacting Algebars.

I'm bummed that they're closing. I've only been there a few times — mostly while reporting this story — but I've enjoyed looking up from Church Street in the dark to see the gleaming blue lights of Algebars. I guess if I want to play those fancy games, I've gotta go buy 'em myself now.

September 26, 2007 at 03:27 PM in House Rules | Permalink


Wow, that is kind of a bummer. I've never been there, either - but similarly enjoyed looking up and watching people compete on the Dance Dance Revolution games. There are plenty of online petition tools out there that might be of use...

Posted by: Justin | Sep 26, 2007 8:35:33 PM

I've still got like 13 hours of gaming time sitting up there that I bought and never used! D'oh! If they stay open, I promise to go there more!

Posted by: bill simmon | Sep 27, 2007 2:07:21 AM

That's a bummer. I used to love going to the arcade (not just for games, if you know what I mean) home video consoles killed the arcade and I can't help but feel a little sad about that.

Posted by: bigbadbrad | Sep 27, 2007 2:09:42 PM

The kids of Algebars have been collecting signatures on a petition for 2 weeks, and I think at last count they have 500+. We are planning on applying for grant money to re-open Algebars as a youth center, into which it has primarily evolved. Our main goal has never been to become rich but to fill a need in the community. We certainly found it. Of course, there are "adults" who come to play as well, but the people our closing really affects are the 12-18 year olds. For them, Algebars has not only been a place for fun, but a place to come and safely hang out, meet their friends, play together. Their parents know where they are and frequently call us up to find them. One of their mom's just last week even invited us to her son's 13th birthday party. I am going to miss them dreadfully, and have promised to have a party at my house every couple months just so we can all catch up with each other.

The most important part of this petition to me, though, is the spirit of the kids behind it. A petition seemed the most practical solution to them, although one of them suggested the selling of kidneys ("we all have two") to supply needed funds. That seemed a bit extreme to me, but the petition is sweet. So many so-called adults like to opine on the supposed lack of interest from kids, that they have no passion, no energy. I really wish they could see these kids .. they have no lack of passion, energy, interest or love. They are amazing, and we really love them. I think they know that :)

Thanks for the post and for the sentiments. We remain hopeful that some day (hopefully not some year) Algebars will rise again. Peace.

Lauran and Ross
Algebars owners

Posted by: Lauran Burrell | Sep 28, 2007 1:53:29 PM

I'm getting a little misty-eyed. Rents are probably a little prohibitive Downtown. Maybe a little of the beaten trail?

Posted by: bigbadbrad | Sep 28, 2007 5:06:14 PM

Rents are remarkable. The big trouble is that you can only honestly charge people just so much to play games. And when it's kids, well, you charge less, and sometimes you don't charge at all. If we can reopen at any time, it would definitely be a bit more off the beaten trail. But still needs to be accessible to the kids in Burlington and near bus routes .. because lots of our kids would walk and take the bus from places like Williston and Essex to meet their friends. Thanks for being misty eyed though :) It's nice to have company!

Posted by: Lauran Burrell | Sep 28, 2007 10:57:21 PM

Sad to hear this - good luck with your future endeavors, you have a great place and i always enjoyed stopping up for a game or two.

Posted by: Tanner | Oct 2, 2007 1:55:34 PM

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