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Hard Times Cafe Set to Reopen This Week

Hard Times Cafe at 1117 Nelson St in Rockville is set to officially reopen on Friday, July 5th. Initially, from July 5th to 7th, the restaurant will operate for dinner service only, from 4pm to 8pm. Regular hours, running from 11:30am to 8pm, will resume starting July 9th, with the restaurant remaining closed on Mondays.

The temporary closure since September 2023 was due to plumbing issues, but Hard Times Cafe is known for its signature wings and chili offerings, featuring variations like Texas, Cincinnati, Terlingua, and vegetarian options. Their menu highlights include Chili Bubba (chili served over cornbread), Chili Mac (over spaghetti), Frito Chili Mac, chili dogs, chili burgers, and chili fries. Additionally, they offer non-chili dishes such as salads, wraps, and chicken tenders.

Designed to evoke a Southern Depression-era chili parlor, Hard Times Cafe features a straightforward aesthetic with polished red oak and terra-cotta tile decor. The walls are adorned with photographs depicting daily Western life circa 1930, adding to its nostalgic charm.

The first Hard Times Cafe opened in Alexandria, VA in 1980, with the Rockville location following in 1984. Previously, there was a Hard Times Cafe in Germantown at 13032 Middlebrook Rd, which closed in 2014. Additional locations can be found in Alexandria, Fredericksburg, and Springfield, VA, reflecting the enduring popularity of their distinctive menu and ambiance.

Featured image courtesy of Hard Times Cafe

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