The Rough Cut, a barbecue restaurant with a full bar, will open at 51 Main Street in Middlebury in November, owner Ben Wells said. The business will occupy the space that previously housed 51 Main at the Bridge, a restaurant and performance venue operated by Middlebury College for nine years.
The space is under renovation, Wells said, and will reopen with a 25-seat bar and a 50-seat dining room that serves dinner Wednesday through Sunday nights. The menu will feature barbecue and southern comfort food.
The Rough Cut will be "very casual, very fun, with affordable pricing," Wells said. The bar will focus on bourbon and whiskey and pour as many as 12 beers on tap.
A Florida chef, Brandon Perry, will move to Vermont to run the Rough Cut kitchen. "We're very excited about him," Wells said. "He has a lot of experience in barbecue and southern food."
Wells also owns the Marquis Theatre in Middlebury, a movie theater with a café that serves southwestern fare. He has managed restaurants in places including Boston, Jacksonville, Wyo., and Boulder, Colo.
Wells expects the Rough Cut to expand its dinner hours and add lunch in the future, he said. The restaurant will not host live music, which was a feature of 51 Main, but it will showcase a novelty in these parts: a mechanical bull that customers can ride.