The Story of Burt’s
Burt’s Irish Pub opened in Stowe, Vermont in 1976. The unofficial mayor of Stowe, Herbert O’Brien, was its first proprietor. Over the many years this Irish Bar has been open it has remained a local’s bar despite the resort town that has grown up around it.
Throughout the last 38 years, Burt’s has had many owners. As each new proprietor took over, one aspect remained the same – the sense of family that has come to be known at Burt’s.
It was that sense of family that caught my attention sixteen years ago when I first visited the bar.
I had just moved to Vermont and was surprised by what I found. What I loved about the Pub the first time I visited was the friendly welcoming I received and the playful banter across the bar from the regulars. That has remained a constant element at Burt’s, no matter how much time has passed.
Burt’s became my new Vermont family. It was where I came to drink, to relax; it was where I met my friends; it was where I cried through my divorce.
That is the reason I took the chance when the bar came up for sale. I was a trained chef and mother of three kids, but I couldn’t let the bar go to just anyone.
There was a fire in 2001. The original Burt’s Mountain Road location was destroyed. But we picked up, moved to Luce Hill (bringing a few pieces of the old Burt’s with us like a cooler, ice scoop and a burnt beam). Since 2003 I have continued the Burt’s tradition, with a few customized touches of my own. When I took over, there was a bit of a change. It was an adjustment for some to have a female owner at their local watering hole. But we got through it, and today “Mama Burt’s” (that’s me) Code of Conduct is known to all the regulars.
Walking into a local’s pub, especially a local’s bar in Stowe, can be uncomfortable at first. It may feel like the whole room stops and stares. And they do. But don’t let that stop you. Come on in, hang out for a while and you won’t feel like a stranger for long – that’s a promise.
Owner and Proprietor,
Janet Martinez (Mama Burt)