Orbit Billiards Shuts Down

Corner bar and pool hall Orbit has abruptly shut down after a 13-year run. A band scheduled to play there this week has been told that the establishment is no more, and that the building is going to be renovated over the next month or so. There’s no word on why this has happened, or what the future holds for that space. All is presumably well at Orbit’s sister restaurant, Rapture, and some of the gigs will end up there. Orbit was the first business venture of local restauranteur Andrew Vaughan, who had previously owned and operated the Java Hut coffee cart on the Downtown Mall. It quickly became a favorite among students, packed to the gills on weekends.

This is probably a good time to point out that Gravity Lounge remains very much (and very successfully) in business, despite the 2006 declaration that it was going out of business. In case anybody lives in a cave, it’s probably worth pointing out that, happily, that news hasn’t proven to be true.

14 Responses to “Orbit Billiards Shuts Down”

  • Disclaimer: I used to work for Drew, at the Java Hut, when I was a teenager.

  • I heard from a former manager that the owners of Mellow Mushroom bought the building.

  • this is a sad day for C’ville and the best beer happy hour in town. i will fill my glass only half-full tonight out of respect.

  • Jeannine, I heard the same, from a different source. I can’t say I’m sad to see it go – on the rare occasions I’ve ventured in, I could only take the heavy, suffocating cloud of cigarette smoke for about an hour before I had to get out of there. It’s going to take a while to air that place out.

  • I’ll miss the happy hour, too. :(

  • According to inside sources, the deal is: Mellow Mushroom has purchased Orbit and will be renovating to become a gourmet hamburger joint downstairs but still have the pool tables upstairs. Currently they plan keep most of the same staff. No word on happy hour specials.

  • Time to move to Lynchburg. If the Germans haven’t ruined it.

  • you people sound like that was the only watering hole/restaurant in town. So what if it closed. It was opened so that it could eventually close. Just either dry out or find another bar to live your miserable lives in. Drinking and smoking is not the be all end all to life. Get a grip!

  • Yeah, I’ve gotten hammered in there many a time. Although I will say I like the Baja Bean, too.

  • why do we need ANOTHER Three on the corner. i am getting tired of people trying to drastically alter the restaurant but keep the same clientel. i think everyone liked orbit because it was a casual bar and not because it was an upscale eatery. what orbit excelled at was that it was a great place to drink that wasn’t a melee for drinks like alot of other bars on the corner. i wouldnt go to a gourmet hamburger place on the corner because for one, ITS A HAMBURGER and i dont care and 2)Marteens is really good and right there.

    i suggest marteens to anyone else. It will probably win on drink specials and already has fantastic hamburgers.

    … and its not in the hollowed out carcass of your previous favorite bar.

  • the business has changed hands and it is going to be a burger joint. “The Joint” according to the ABC permit license taped on the original side entrance off 14th st. how long it will be closed there is no telling. they will keep three tables the rest are up for sale on Craigslist. went by the other day and they have taken down the stage too. not looking like they want to much of the old clientelle back or the music.

  • Anyone know who purchased the business?

    Also, can you direct me the to the Craiglist sale links?


  • Curious – The owners of Mellow Mushroom bought it, according to last week’s edition of The Hook.


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