It was all a dream…
Often talked about around the dinner table but many, many years went by before the idea of owning and operating a family restaurant actually became plausible. With decades of combined experience in the service industry, the owners Gary and Samantha decided it was finally time to dive into the deep end and become their own bosses.
Gary, co-owner of Archives, grew up in Lake Geneva, WI and quickly found his love for cooking when he started working at Next Door Pub & Pizzeria. After working there for most of his adult life and running their kitchen for the past 15 years, he started to dream of bigger things. Gary and his wife Lauren, a Burlington High School graduate and full time nurse practitioner ventured out to look at local businesses for sale and landed at the historical Burlington staple, Gabby’s Palace.
Samantha, the other co-owner of Archives, grew up in Gurnee, IL but moved to Burlington for high school. As a Burlington High School graduate, Samantha started out working in the service industry at 15. After many years spent serving, bartending, and managing restaurants she started to feel restless. When she found out her brother in law Gary and sister Lauren were thinking of opening their own restaurant she was all in. Her husband Maxwell was nothing but supportive in the decision, even though he was just starting his own business as well, Blue Ribbon Customs Classic Car Restoration. Talk about busy! With her experience running the front of the house and Gary’s experience in the kitchen, the rest was history and Archives was born.
Archives Bar and Grill is a small town hangout with fresh, scratch made food and yummy specialty cocktails. We aim to provide a friendly and fun atmosphere that welcomes all ages. With live music, weekly trivia, and daily specials, the possibilities are endless for what we can offer to beautiful downtown Burlington. Our food is all homemade and cooked to order, even down to the ketchup and mustard! Our beer batter is inspired from our Great Uncle George’s recipe with a few small tweaks. All of the ingredients we use in our batter are gluten free*! Featuring Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist Pilsner as the base and a few other secret ingredients, our batter is scrumptious and allergy safe. Gluten intolerances/allergies and Celiacs are a very real issue for some and we wanted to provide tasty food that everyone could eat. But if all the gluten is your thing, our sandwiches are served on fresh Turano buns and rolls and our menu items are so tasty you won’t even notice the difference!
Why did we name our bar and grill Archives? It all started with a photo of Tom Waits smoking a cigarette with his morning newspaper. As we started brainstorming ideas for our new bar and grill we knew that we had to change the name from the long standing and notable ‘The Palace’ or ‘Gabby’s Palace’. With all of the remodeling and upgrades as well as new owners with new ideas we knew that our establishment needed a rebranding. So back to Tom Waits, as we were perusing the web for art to hang on our blank walls we happened upon this photo. Knowing that we wanted to feature live music we started to collect old photographs of famous musicians to hang on the walls as a general aesthetic. We also wanted to encompass in our decor some book art, being across from Burlington Public Library and Wehmhoff Square or what some call Library Park, it seemed fitting. Since our building has years and years of history dating back as far as 1916, what once was a bowling alley and a restaurant, we also wanted to encompass this history in our decor and name as well. Archives was born out of inspiration from all of these factors brought together in an appealing, modern way.
Welcome to Archives Bar and Grill, we are so happy you are here with us and we can’t wait to meet you!
*Disclaimer: All of our gluten free items are prepared separately, however our kitchen does prepare gluten containing items, please notify your server/bartender for severe allergies.