160 Bank Street

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The building is now “The Farmhouse Tap N Grill” but back in the 80’s it was a McDonald’s. While working night maintenance with another employee, we were just starting cleaning after closing (circa 11 p.m.). He went down to the basement to begin cleaning there. He immediately came RUNNING back up the stairs and wanted me to go back down with him. The basement was mostly storage and employee break room. He pointed out how the soda tanks (5 gall stainless steel pressure tanks for syrup) were now stacked in a pyramid. They hadn’t been 10 minutes prior when I’d hung my coat down there. We agreed to leave things be until the morning manager came in. I shut off the radio, and we went upstairs to clean the lobby and kitchen. at about 10 till 5, the morning manager arrived, and we went down to show her the soda tank stack. At this time, the FULL tanks were also stacked and the radio back on. We left rather quickly. After, the manager recounted how, two weeks prior, while delegating closing duties to the two employees on duty, they heard a horrible scream from somewhere in the restaurant. A thorough inspection showed NOBODY else in the building.

This McDonald’s was built on the sight where a nightclub had burned down around June of 1974. The owner and his son had been inventorying liquor in the basement when the fire broke out, and their bodies were never recovered.

(Submitted by Mark P.)

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Geographic Information

160 Bank Street
Burlington, VT
United States

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44.478403, -73.21330499999999
Chittenden County, Vermont
Nearest Towns:
Burlington, VT (0.2 mi.)
Winooski, VT (1.6 mi.)
South Burlington, VT (2.2 mi.)
Essex Junction, VT (5.1 mi.)
Colchester, VT (5.6 mi.)
Shelburne, VT (6.8 mi.)
Williston, VT (7.7 mi.)
West Milton, VT (10.7 mi.)
Jericho, VT (10.8 mi.)
Hinesburg, VT (11.5 mi.)


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Comments (4)

  1. This story is mostly correct, however, more significantly than the restaurant fire, which occurred later, 1977- the site is on part of the grounds of the old sanitarium that was on Bank Street until the early 1900s. A gentleman who ALSO worked at the McDonalds went into the basement and found a man dressed in clothing from another era sitting silently on a stack of supplies. The current servers at the Farmhouse say they still hear odd noises like, “somebody is trying hard to get our attention.”

    • Wow, I never knew about the sanitarium. And as I mentioned below to Kenric, I have to bow to the memory of those who were older and more familiar with the location as to the date it burned.
      I wonder who the oddly dressed man sitting on the supplies was..
      I won’t go in that basement again for love or money.

  2. I’m also setting the record straight on this one. The fire was in 1977–May 1 to be exact. Two teens, a brother and sister were killed in the fire, which followed a gas explosion. The mother who was on scene at the time was able to escape with minor injuries. The kids bodies were found covered with a blanket. They died of smoke inhalation. I remember at the time learning that the father’s body was never found. It would take more heat than even a crematorium can put out to disintegrate a body to dust. It was speculated that the father fled to his native Greece after the fire, and that it was he who covered his children with the blanket upon realizing they had succumbed.

    I know this because I was friends with the younger of the teens. He was in my class. I was his pallbearer the following Saturday.

    • Thank you for the clarification. I only had what other employees know to go by when I wrote this post.
      I was certain the fire happened just before I moved to Vermont in ’74, but as your knowledge is first hand, I have to bow to your superior memory. Sorry that you lost a friend to that tragedy.
      I must admit that your comment about the father absconding makes more sense.

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