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Finkerman's BBQ in Montpelier to close

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The Burlington Free Press Reported today that Finkerman's will close on Feb. 17th, to be replaced by Ariel's Riverside Cafe and Bar. Ariel's will open on Feb. 29th, and will be run by the same owners as Ariel's Restaurant in Brookfield. (Smart move - they'll only have to celebrate their anniversary every four years!) I've heard a few good things about Ariel's current operation, but have never been there...

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  1. I'm so sad, we love Finkerman's and stop in every time we pass through Montpelier! Good barbacue, awesome veg sides and yummy desserts. Did they say why it's closing? I hope owners' health and finances are okay.
    We'll have to drive over this weekend for one last meal there. Thanks for the news.

    4 Replies
    1. re: starvinginNH

      I found their ribs and chicken to be overcooked and dried out. Their hush puppies were overpriced and, on the two occassions I got them, well overdone (to the point of being inedible). I wanted to like the place - but the food that hit the table was quite mediocre.

      Thanks for the update Joe

      1. re: Jestner

        They actually stopped serving the hush last year or so. It was great when it opened, but it went downhill, which is sad.

      2. re: starvinginNH

        There was no reason given - just a short paragraph in the Monday business section. Reviews of Finkerman's have always been mixed, but we enjoyed ding there and the Grandkids had a ball!

        1. re: starvinginNH

          I'm not really surprised. They lost a chef early last year and then had a horrible time trying to get a decent one. We had so many bad take outs we gave up on them for a long time. Then the owner came in to manage and serve, and quite frankly, he's not the easiest person to get along with and I'm sure he rubbed people up the wrong way. We will not be dining at Ariel's simply because we don't like him and we wouldn't want an evening and good money wasted if he was serving.

        2. Ariel's is wonderful. We celebrated our anniversary there once and loved it. I'm so glad they're moving somewhere more accessible! :)

          1. What a shame, Finkerman's was a great place to stop on the way north...nice location on the river and the bbq wasn't bad.

            1. Finkerman's was always a great place for us, though I have to admit on a busy night... it was hit or miss. Maybe they will open up somewhere else. My parents enjoyed it when we went there when they visited.

              3 Replies
              1. re: travelames

                No, it's closed. The owners had a restaurant in Brookfield called Ariel's, a fine dining place. They've opened Ariel's riverside where Finkerman's is, and there are no plans that I've heard of that they're going to do BBQ.

                I liked them a lot when they first opened, but unfortunately, they did what a lot of places do after doing great at first, they started trying to save money and it showed in the quality. Their pulled pork was usually good no matter what, but nothing else was consistent. I suspect they didn't really have the heart for BBQ, they were trying to fill a niche.

                Ariel's has always been really good, though. :)

                1. re: Morganna

                  Ariel's in Brookfield is still there. The owners close it down after leaf peeper season, and then reopen in mid May.

                  1. re: Morganna

                    Thanks. Read the original post too fast... brain missed the part about the same owners. ;-)

                2. Has anyone found a replacement to Finkerman's yet? Craving some BBQ. :-)

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: travelames

                    I'm not a big BBQ fan, but the other half likes the Cider House in Waterbury. It's on Route 2 a few miles west of town.

                    1. re: bm_vt

                      I've driven past there, but never stopped. Thanks for the info, BM.

                      1. re: bm_vt

                        I've never been able to detect any actual smokey flavour in Cider House stuff, though it was tasty. Also, beware powdered sugar on the hushpuppies (just too weird, order them without ;)

                        I just wrote a review of Ed's Barrbq in Barre. I'm hopeful they'll be a decent replacement.

                        1. re: Morganna

                          Thanks for the tip Morganna... powdered sugar, how bizarre. I did check out their menu online... definitely sounds pretty good. Have to get there soon. Thanks again.

                          1. re: Morganna

                            Here is a link to Morganna's review
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/554042