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End of an era in Burlington's Old North End - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

End of an era in Burlington's Old North End

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It's 11:30 a.m. and Kathy Goguen is opening Q-Tee's for business. It's a routine she knows well; she's been doing it since she was a young girl.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You really grew up here?

Kathy Goguen: I most certainly did, in many ways. Yes, it's a second home.

Her dad, Bill Keller, along with her mom, Nina, bought the restaurant in 1959. It had already been well established in Burlington. It was a neighborhood hangout, even radio stations broadcast from here.

"In the '60s, we would have WDOT here playing the top 30 songs of the day," Kathy recalled.

When her father died in 1980, Kathy took over the business.

Joe Carroll: You call this place a she, why?

Kathy Goguen: Because she was a queen.

A Dairy Queen to be exact. But a few years ago, Kathy didn't like the way the corporation was doing business and went independent. It was a mutual parting of ways. She came up with the name Q-Tee's-- Quality Treats, Exceptional Eats.

For Kathy, working here has been a blessing and a curse.

"I've watched children grow up and then bring their children, yeah," she said.

But she's hasn't been able to experience much of the world outside the building. She takes very few days off. Now in her early 60s, it's time to start a new life. An offer was made last year to buy the property and Kathy accepted it. Kathy can only say that the place is under contract and the structure will be torn down, thus stopping 67 years of continuously serving the people of Burlington.

Joe Carroll: When you tell the people you are closing, what's the response?

Kathy Goguen: You can't leave, you can't leave! Good for you that you are retiring, but it's sad for us.

"My reaction? Sad, this is the place I always come. Mainly because I am from the Mid-Atlantic and it says Soft Serve Only and it's not Creemees," said Henry Maguire of Burlington.

It was Kathy's mother's last words that were in the back of her mind. 

"'Sell the damn place,' that's what she said. She had worked, she had worked hard," Kathy said.

Now Kathy plans to travel and experience new things. But don't worry about getting your favorite frozen treat just yet. Q-Tee's will be operating until October.

Three generations of the family have worked at Q-Tee's. Kathy's daughter Stacey also worked summers there.

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