Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Open Letter to the Nectar's Community

To our friends and vendors and both…


It is time to say goodbye and hello!


It’s time to say goodbye as the owner/operator of the fantastic-ness that is Nectar’s, Club Metronome and Ya Dude!  It’s time to say hello as Damon Brink.  I am looking forward to both.


Six and a half years ago Sally and I moved back to Vermont to purchase and run Nectar’s.  We had been gone for the previous two years, living in Jamaica and working for some great people, including Jimmy.  We rented a small apartment on College Street right across from the Library and next to the movie theater.  I told Sally we would be there for 6 months while we started up Nectar’s, three years later we bought our House. 


I had no idea what I was getting into. (more on this later)


Looking back it simply feels like a wonderful ride.  I wonder where all those hard times went?  It’s amazing how we twist the arm of our perception to fit our situation.


For the past year or more, I have been thinking and orchestrating a sale of my shares.  This has not been a hasty decision.  It is simply the result of a well-planned and focused series of efforts made by many parties towards mutually beneficial, but likely different, goals.  In the process of not putting the horse before the cart, there must be patience and commitment to reality, which includes not shouting “mission accomplished” before the mission is accomplished.  Well, the mission is accomplished (see how it’s done Bushie!).


This letter is a brief expression of “thank you!” and an even briefer (sp??) reminisce.  It will barely and in-adequately scratch the surface of my gratitude and my memory but it is necessary and will do, for now.  As well, people are and will continue to ask questions and this letter will act as a source of truth for people who want or need to know it.


I would first like to thank Sally. 

I would like to thank my mom, Helen

My dad, Rusty

All my siblings

In particular – Sean and Caroline Riehl who both completely and absolutely rock.

Sunny and Justin, both animals in work and play.


All the people who have at one time or another worked for Nectar’s, whether for a day (there are some who didn’t even make it that long) or for half a decade…you all have blessed my experience.


To The Staff (those of you that have worked for more than a year with Ya Dude) –Nectar’s is an intensely complex entertainment business.  If you have worked there for more than a year – you are someone special.  You have a bond and a commonality of spirit that makes me happy to think of where you may end up and when I may see you again.  Of course you also have a certain dis-functionality for the straight and narrow…but, you know…you have to take the good with the good.  Without question the most rewarding and challenging parts of the last 6.5 years was YOU.  STAFF!  STAFF!


I would like to thank ALL of the delivery guys, salesman, repairmen, electricians, contractors, plumbers and everyone else that worked to keep the physical space safe, dry, warm (or cool), stocked and basically ON TRACK – you were the engine – I can’t remember much but smiles and laughter – except if you were dealing with the leaky pipes or pre-colonial electrics…smiles and laughter.  Thank you for your dedication to your profession, it was a pleasure doing business with you.


There are some companies that started, seemingly right along side of us…I may be wrong or right but it seems that way to me.  Union Street Media, Sports Central, Rachel Carter PR, State of Mind, all I can say is, HOW COOL IS IT!  There is incredible entrepreneurship here and I was not just pleased but honored to operate successfully in such an environment.


And all the vendors – Thank you and Good Work if you are still around…we deeply appreciate your efforts on our collective behalf and we have enjoyed doing business with you.


To the “professionals”…For the battles that were fought were mighty and thick and required huge amounts of energy and focus over sinister lengths of time, for the ones who sat, wide eyed at my requests, wondering not only if you could but if it was legal.  Thank you for listening and adapting.  You define the name professional.


To Alex Budney – my brother!


To the Business Community in Burlington – YOU ROCK – but don’t get complacent! Burlington is a world-class location and it requires world-class businesses.  Do not rest on the laurels of others or the magnificence of the physical area.


To the praetorians of the City of Burlington – The magic of Burlington is undeniable and fragile.  The magic is made whole by the vibrancy of the people who live, create, work and prosper here.  It is evident that central planning helped create this environment but the truth of that fact does not mean that more is what is necessary for the next step.  Be completely transparent, set the rules consistently, enforce the rules consistently, step back.  If you are going to stand as a representative of the people you have a responsibility to empower, no dis-empower them and although I do not agree with the size or scope of our current government there is no denying the people who work within love and are dedicated to Burlington.


To all customers, friends, fans, musicians, artists, lovers of live music and patrons of the SCENE:  I hope you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy one of the most unique spots to be found anywhere.  Thanks for contributing, thanks for waiting, thanks for trying, thanks for playing, thanks for paying, thanks for coming

To the new “owners” and to my “ex” and “new” partner (all at the same time):  You are starting on the right foot.  Define your success and make the best choices from there. 


I am leaving a place where local is prized, celebrated, made to work, a place that demonstrates that LOCAL can be successful; a place where people get married and signed, a place where connections are made and sparks are thrown, a place of stars and bums.  I am leaving a place that people take pictures of, a place where people learn, teach and cheer.  I am leaving a place where people excel and fail, daily.  I am leaving a place of challenge and friendship and I am leaving a place that was my life, every single day, every hour for 2,372-ish days.  I have some sadness but not one regret.

I love Nectar’s.  I love the idea of it.  I love the ideal of it.  I wanted to change my relationship with it and I did but I will always carry some of it with me, like you do, if you’re one of the lucky ones, like seeds to plant again.


And to all those that have been or will be fans of what Nectar’s means –  Enjoy!, spread the word and the love - you have blessed me,

Thank you.

Damon Brink

April 13, 2009


Anonymous said...

Well said!!!!!

the boys said...

Thank you for everything Damon. We'll miss seeing you on monday nights smiling behind that amazing mustache. Your support has meant the world.
-Lendway (Michael, Matt, Todd, and Kevin)

Anonymous said...

The Nector's community? It's beer, it's puke, it's inappropriate behavior. Won't 15 other bars in Burlington take your place?

Anonymous said...

Great letter - thank you Damon and staff, volunteers - Nectar's has been a place of fries and solid food, beer, friends, and great fun and terrific local, national and deep music. Never a bad time, always fun and the changes look and feel terrific.