Nectar’s 40th anniversary 

Nectar’s celebrates 40 years.

When walking down Main Street, the Nectar’s retro sign is sure to stand out amongst the red and blue awnings of the venue’s neighbors.

Nectar’s, founded in 1975, is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. “We wanted to make our 40th anniversary not just a celebration of Nectar’s, but of the Burlington music scene from the Nectar’s stage,” said Brian Mital, the venue’s talent scout.

The celebration has been running since February, and has included tributes to albums recorded in 1975; Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies and the Grateful Dead.

Nectar’s will welcome Project/Object, the world-renowned Frank Zappa alumni band on Oct. 14.

When deciding which acts define Burlington’s musical spirit, “Zappa came up all the time,” Mital said.

The band members aren’t strangers to the Nectar’s stage.

“Project/Object has played Nectar’s about half a dozen times,” said Alex Budney, Nectar’s co-owner.

“The first time I played Higher Ground was in 1995,” said Ike Willis, guitarist of Project/Object, “We can’t wait to get back to Nectar’s, they never let us down.”

“I’m all about Nectar’s,” said Denny Walley, the band’s vocalist and rhythm guitarist.

The venue has a great reputation among local and national bands alike.

“[At Nectar’s] there’s a back-of-the-house, family vibe, and I think that’s why bands keep coming back,” Budney said.

Over the years, the venue has welcomed all sorts of acts from the Killers to Ben Howard to local reggae musician Jah9. Nectar’s is most widely known for being the spot Phish made it big.

“We have people knocking on the windows after we’re closed just to get a look inside,” Mital said of die-hard Phish fans.

The appeal of Nectar’s isn’t limited to fans of Frank Zappa or Phish’s music.

“Nectar’s attracts people from all walks of life,” Mital said. “It’s really a catch-all for every type of Burlington resident.”

At one of Nectar’s weekly Grateful Dead tribute shows, “you’ll see an 18-year-old-hearing this music for the first time dancing as hard as the 70-year-old next to him,” he said.

“Anywhere in the world, you can see someone wearing a Nectar’s shirt,” Mital said. “It’s truly a landmark here in Burlington.”

And Nectar’s seems to be just that: a landmark.