Building History

Now known as Annie’s Ruff Cut, the original building opened for the first time in the 1920’s as a speak easy during prohibition. The building has burned to the ground twice in its history and before the current reincarnation it used to have a huge dance hall connected to it. The current building in place was built in approximately 1980 by the Dubois family. Story has it that the father had promised his daughter that he would buy her a new car if she made it through her school years without any absences. She did in fact make it and he needed to come up with money to purchase said car. He bought the property Annie’s Ruff Cut sits on and built the structure on part of the existing foundation that was left behind from the most recent fire. 
The Dubois opened the restaurant/bar under the name “Ruff Cut Chandlier”, the name was chosen for two reasons:  1 – The entire building inside and out was built out of rough cut lumber that that was harvested and milled from trees that they cut down on the property.  2 – At that time it had chandeliers for lighting taken out of some of the more famous Catskill Resort hotels from back in the day however they are not here anymore.
At the time, Mr. Dubois and his sons were part of a demo crew that were responsible for gutting the infamous Taft Hotel building for renovations.  Many a famous people have been guest or maintained residences at the Taft and including Babe Ruth. The building still exists and is home to high end apartments now. Mr. Dubois had asked the property owner if he could have one of the bars from The Taft Hotel, the owner told him he had one weekend to get it out of the building which he did get done. The Ruff Cuts bar and wall behind the bar are from the Taft Hotel and history says Babe Ruth enjoyed his alcohol so there is a good chance that he sat there himself.


Annie’s Ruff Cut Featured in Catskills Confidential Winter 2021.

Working in the restaurant business has been a lifelong love for Antoinette (Annie) Grome. After spending many years as a server and bartender it was only natural that she would come to own her own restaurant. The Ruff Cut in Cochecton has been a community favorite for many years and when the owners were moving on she and her husband, Erwin Grome, took it over, calling it Annie’s Ruff Cut and opening in August of 2019.

You’ll find classic bar food at Annie’s Ruff Cut. Known for their famous Roast Beef Sandwiches, they also have a variety of options from burgers and fries to appetizers, to sandwiches. They even have inventive dishes like pretzel fries with a cheese dipping sauce. And quench your thirst with a delicious cocktail; there’s a special drink on the menu every day.

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bethel wood restaurant Cochecton ny monticello restaurant


Annie’s Ruff Cut Chef Steve Mutter featured in DV Eight Summer 2016.

Steve Mutter, a Southern Chef in Yankee Country.

Barbecue is, of course, a slow process. If you aim to eat at the laid-back hour of four pm then your meat needed to be in the smoker somewhere around two in the morning. While there isn’t a huge amount of to do over the ensuing 14 hours, it’s by no means a set-it-and-forget-it operation. The temperature and the moisture within the smoker both need to be carefully maintained, and there’s no rushing the meat. If your butt or shoulder or picnic or brisket chooses to take its own sweet time to come up the final five degrees to temperature, there’s nothing to do about it but sit back on a lawn chair, open another beer, and chew the fat with whomever has dropped by while you wait. This we did, and so I came to hear Steve’s story.

Eventually Mutter moved back to North Carolina and needing work, applied for a vacant position as the Asheville Barbecue Company. “Their pit master had just walked out one day, and didn’t leave any recipes written down,” he explains, so with supreme confidence he applied for the job, despite knowing very little about the art of barbecue. Improvisation was the order of the day, according to Mutter. “I took my ideas from what they had before and added my own twist to it, and just went from there.”

Mutter’s relationship with barbecue took a significant turn when he joined the staff of the new 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, NC. Neither of the 12 Bones’s owners, Thomas Montgomery and Sabra Kelley, come from a barbecue tradition, nor were they originally from North Carolina. Despite their lack of history, or perhaps because of their willingness to explore non-traditional ingredients and techniques – so-called “progressive ‘cue” – 12 Bones became enormously successful.

12 Bone’s original location, where Mutter manned the pit became a favorite of President Obama, who visited every time the business of running the country took him to Asheville. I mention he’s like Freddy, the pit mast of the eponymous restaurant/confessional favored by Frank Underwood in House of Cards, and Mutter is tickled pink, although he makes it clear that the POTUS simply came to eat his food, not to seek his counsel.

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bethel wood restaurant Cochecton ny monticello restaurant