In January of 2013, Michael and his wife, Melissa, began looking into the purchase of a small town bar with the idea of renovating it and turning it into a pizza parlor, while retaining the beverage piece. The Burlington Bar was for sale and they set their sights on the acquisition. The community has very limited access to dining out and they felt this would be a good addition if they could turn it into a more family-friendly atmosphere. The Harrington’s approached the Small Business Development Center and worked with two different counselors as they were living in Laramie at the time, yet the property was in northwest Wyoming. They were assisted with business planning and financial projections that they ultimately used to approach a lender for financing. They closed on the property in late March and began the renovations. The Burlington Place officially opened for business on June 19th.
The menu features many innovative pizza combinations and toppings, including rattlesnake. The business is very active on Facebook and solicited pizza ideas from FB friends as they built their menu. They hope to eventually add a microbrewery to the property.
Two loans were obtained; one to secure the real estate, and a second to fund renovation, equipment and start-up working capital. In addition, the owners have contributed both cash and sweat equity to the project.
Mike and Melissa are basically running the business by themselves for now, but did have some help from friends and family over the summer. As they grow, more part-time staff will be needed.