What’s Up With Barnaby’s?

Hey Folks,

I figure SOMEONE here might know the answer to this question: What’s up with Barnaby’s in Brattleboro?

I noticed a “for rent” sign in their window yesterday.  It seems like the place is busy.  There are often people hanging out in front, smoking.  And they’ve only been open a few months.  I hope everything is okay with them.

The only thing I can think of as a logical explanation — and this is just me guessing, so let’s not start any rumors — is that maybe they are moving to the old Inferno so the live music doesn’t disturb upstairs neighbors, since Inferno has no residential spaces above it and Barnaby’s does.

Anyone have the real story?



Comments | 12

  • Posted on their Facebook page yesterday

    With heavy hearts we are formally making the announcement that Barnabys Brattleboro is closed for good. As much as we would love to stay open and continue doing what we love, we just can’t come up with the funding needed to keep the doors open. Maybe someday down the road we can reopen ad continue this amazing adventure.

    This is too bad. Seems like it’s getting harder and harder to keep small businesses going in this town.

    • Surprised

      Thanks for posting that, KAlden.
      I’m surprised that happened so quickly. I figured since Inferno closed, people would want a bar/music venue. It always looked busy to me, at least judging by the people standing outside smoking.

      Then again, as a small biz owner myself, I know how hard it is to keep it going. Maybe they, like me, were undercapitalized.

      It’s too bad. I don’t like to see any downtown business go under.

  • barnabys and Inferno

    Honestly I was not happy with the place anymore than Rocky Top. I am sad about Inferno because they were the only place downtown doing Karaoke.

    • It's not a good thing when

      It’s not a good thing when any small business downtown can’t make a go of it. It would be enlightening if some downtown business owners would weigh in on whether it’s just a matter of miscalculating the costs of doing business in general or a slowdown in business causing these closures. Is it possible that business taxes, costs related to town fees are part of the problem?

      I am curious considering that per capita our residential taxes are very high. If in fact the costs of keeping small business open downtown are being handicapped by town fees and taxes it would behoove the SB to relook at what costs are. And take a more cautious approach to expenses ahead.

      I heard (via the grapevine only) once what rents were for businesses in certain buildings and they seemed really really high to me considering the amount of foot traffic per purchase you would seem to have downtown. Perhaps some business owners would be interested in educating those of us who purchase downtown anonymously or not as to what their views are.

      Detroit is a great example of what happens when you loose your tax base because people can’t afford to stay in a town. Not that we in an identical situation but it’s certainly a cautionary note to any town government, big or small.

      • A Business Owner Replies

        Rosa, I’m a small business owner, and I’m not sure what you mean by “town fees and taxes”. I paid $50 to register my business with the town, and because my business is small and I don’t own much, and because the first $2K or so of property was “waived” because I registered in time, I didn’t have a tax bill. Should the town raise its revenue solely through homeowners? That’s hardly fair. I utilize town services, too.

        What really hurts my business is my rent, which is fairly high considering it’s in a very tricky location. The price per square foot is decent, but the landlord doesn’t live here and doesn’t realize how few people walk around down there. I am learning the hard way, yet I persevere. (And I’m always seeking other options.)

        Payroll taxes are also f@#$ing ridiculous. I am fine paying my staff a decent wage, but the taxes are outrageous.

        But honestly, the main barrier for my business, personally, is that I am a low-to-moderate income single female with no property. My business is way undercapitalized because the entire Capitalist system is set up to keep people like me out of the ownership class and stuck in wage-slavery. I barely scraped together enough to open and stay afloat for few months. Opening a new business takes time — you have to have a big cushion to rest on while the business builds itself. And when banks and the SBA and the BDCC are of no help to you at all and basically scoff at you because you are poor, have no property, and maybe have a poor credit rating because you’ve been living off crap wages your entire life, it makes it challenging. Yes, the woman at the BDCC actually said to me during a seminar: “If your credit score isn’t perfect, you shouldn’t bother opening a business.”

        Am I any less qualified than any other person, simply because I have no money? I’m an expert in my field. I’ve had some of the most respected companies in my industry contract with me. But it’s all been freelance, and most of my expertise has been gained by simply working behind the counter, thus earning crap wages. I’m not complaining — I knew what I was getting into and it allowed me a good opportunity to become an expert by doing. But it never got me rich enough to be seen as worthy in the eyes of the banks and the SBA and the BDCC. So why should some poor jerk like me be allowed to open a business?

        My experience isn’t everyone’s experience. Other business owners will have different stories. But that’s mine, since you asked.

        • Thanks. Interesting info. And

          Thanks. Interesting info. And I’ll make a point of coming in more often and getting more cheese. Your product is great as far as I’m concerned and I’ll be sure and put in my bit to help out while benefiting from the wonderful cheeses you carry.

          Personally you are exactly the sort of person the SBA should be helping as far as I’m concerned.

  • Too soon to fail?

    I didn’t think they have been open long enough to fail.
    During the “Great Depression”, drinking establishments usually prospered.

  • Pay No Attention To the Man Behind the Curtain

    I’d say Brattleboro is on the way to becoming Detroit. I know of someone who is selling a rental house in Brattleboro because they can’t keep anyone in there due to the joblessness in this area. And the rent for this place was reasonable.
    Everyone blames Capitalism for this but we’re living under Socialist policies now. Why are things still bad?
    Regardless of how much you disdain capitalism it’s working itself out. The market is deciding. It’s just that no one has expendible income to support any extra business.
    Right now we have a major city declaring bankruptcy. Soon it may be an entire state.

    • Socialist policies?

      “but we’re living under Socialist policies now”
      And what specific Socialist policies are you referring to?
      The current world-wide recession and the resulting joblessness is the result of derivative speculation by Big Finance – Hardly socialist, wouldn’t you say?
      And Detroit? What “Socialist” policies took all the manufacturing jobs out of the Motor City and transferred them to the People’s Republic of China?
      Wasn’t it the Market deciding that the investors could increase their profits by “going red”?
      And how about the last real depression?
      Created by the Socialist Roosevelt? Uh, Uh!
      Here’s what Ben Bernanke said about it:
      Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton (Friedman)and Anna : Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it.

      • Unfolding Drama in Detroit

        As this drama unfolds, it appears that the pensions of retired city workers: Cops, Teachers, Administrators, etc. are in jeopardy. These people, unionized and not, contracted with the city for these benefits and paid into the plan for their working lives and now it looks like they will lose them. What happened to the money? This isn’t Socialism nor is it Capitalism, it’s corruption and theft.

  • Thanks to Josh & Barnaby's...

    …for giving it a whirl in Brattleboro. No one can say that you didn’t give it your all; the number of live shows you hosted in such a short time was amazing. Good for you!

    All the best – I know whatever you take on next, you’ll remain committed to providing ops for musicians to play for live audiences.

  • By(e)

    The Barnaby’s sign out front has been shortened to read simply “by”

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