Nearly one year to the day after The Rough Cut arrived to 51 Main St. in downtown Middlebury, the BBQ restaurant has announced it will be closing its doors for good after one last hurrah this Friday, Nov. 9. The self-described “neighborhood bar,” which prides itself on a large beer selection, live music and food with soul, revealed the coming closure on its Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
“We have some hard news. We’ve made the difficult decision to close,” the post read, continuing to express gratitude to patrons, employees, and the Middlebury community for their support.
Ben Wells, the owner of The Rough Cut, told The Campus last year that he hoped to create a “positive, warm, energetic environment” for people to enjoy. An outpouring of support and words of regret at the restaurant’s closing via social media stand testament to The Rough Cut’s popularity amongst staff members and the community.
“I’ve never been more heartbroken to leave a place. Thank you Rough Cut for one of the best years of my restaurant life,” said Rebecca Hanleigh, a former employee, commenting on the Facebook farewell.
The team at the BBQ joint has yet to publicly announce the reasons for the abrupt end of service. However, they join a seemingly ever-growing list of small businesses and entrepreneurs in downtown Middlebury that have been forced to shutter their doors within the past year.
College students and residents in search of Southern comfort food, live performances from local musicians and a casual place to watch a sports game will have to turn elsewhere. Starting at 3 p.m. on Friday and lasting “until the beer is gone,” The Rough Cut will host a goodbye party to celebrate its last plate of St. Louis Pork Ribs and its final heaping of fried pickles, serving drinks at sharply discounted prices throughout the evening.
“We’re not crying, you’re crying,” the Rough Cut team lamented in their Facebook goodbye.
Look for an updated version of this story in next week’s print issue, on stands Thursday, Nov. 15.