Hard Times Cafe Has Temporarily Closed

Hard Times Cafe at 1117 Nelson St in Rockville has temporarily closed. While signage on the front door states, “Hard Times will be closed for the remainder of the week for extensive repairs, we will open ASAP, please call before coming,” the restaurant has apparently been closed for a few weeks now and there is no current timeframe on reopening.  Hard Times is known best for its chili, and variations include Texas, Cincinnati, Terlingua, and vegetarian. Menu items include the Chili Bubba (chili over corn bread), Chili Mac (over spaghetti), Frito Chili Mac, chili dogs, chili burgers, and chili fries. The restaurant also serves non-chili dishes, such as salads, wraps, and chicken tenders.

According to its website, “The Hard Times Cafes are designed to recall a southern depression era chili parlor. Its design is simple and honest, making use of polished red oak and terra-cotta tile. Photographs of day-to-day western life, circa 1930, are featured on the sand textured walls.” The first Hard Times Cafe opened in Alexandria, VA in 1980 and the Rockville location opened in 1984. There was previously a Hard Times Cafe at 13032 Middlebrook Rd in Germantown, which closed in 2014. There are currently additional Hard Times locations in Alexandria, Fredericksburg, and Springfield, VA.

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