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The Thrush Flies Away

Side Dishes: Montpelier's famed tavern to close

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Looks like Montpelier's lawmakers are feeling the economic pinch, just like everybody else. Since 1972, hungry legislators have eaten their share of pub food at The Thrush Tavern, located just a block from the Statehouse. But after September 27, the eatery will no longer serve up its hand-cut fries and famous burgers made with local grass-fed beef.

According to Manager Suzanne Lewis, the economy is to blame: "Business is way down," she laments. "People trying to keep up with fuel prices and gas prices, they'll cut down on going out to eat."

Local diners will "definitely miss the place," Lewis surmises. "We have a ton of repeat customers who have been coming in since it opened. It's almost more like family."

Ironically, once folks heard about the impending closure, business picked up. "They've been coming in to get their last Thrush burgers," says Lewis.

Despite their regrets, staffers intend to go out with a bang. During the resto's last business week, September 22 through 26, apps will be free between 5 and 7 p.m. That Thursday, the place will dish up a bird quite different from its namesake - turkey with all the fixin's - for free till it runs out. "It's kind of a thank you to all our customers," Lewis says. On Saturday, the Thrush will host one final bash - with a dinner buffet, drink specials and live music - before flying the coop.

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