After 125 years of operation, Ebert’s Meats, a staple of Newport’s historic Monmouth Street, will close its doors for good on June 4. Ebert’s is the oldest butcher shop in the state of Kentucky, according to its website.
The decision was not voluntary, said Greg Steffen, who has owned the beloved butcher shop since 1999.
On March 25, Steffen said he received a note from the attorney of the building’s owner, demanding he vacate the Newport butcher shop by June. The shop will close for good on June 4.
“It was a punch in the gut,” Steffen told The Enquirer.
The building’s owner, according to Steffen, is Steve Rayburn, who took over after his father, Ed Rayburn, passed away in 2020 at the age of 89.
Steffen purchased the shop from Ed Rayburn in 1999.
“I think they have other plans for the bottom of the building,” Steffen said.
At press time, Steve Rayburn could not be reached for comment.
In a Facebook post, Steffen explained what the shop has meant to himself and the Newport community.
“The stories about this place are boundless but that’s all coming to an abrupt and unceremonious end,” he wrote.
Referring to his staff and his customers, Steffen wrote: “We have loved absolutely every minute here because of you, the people we have met and served. In my time here we have never had a group I was so proud of. In fact, in my time anywhere I have never been as proud of a group as I am of this group. I know by the love you give us every day that you agree.”
According to city of Newport Business Liaison Officer Bev Holiday, she was told by Newport City Manager Thomas J. Fromme to do whatever she can to find Ebert’s a new spot. And Holiday said she already has two locations in mind.
“They have been there for over 100 years,” she said. “They are the only local butcher we have … we will find (them) a spot. I am confident of that.”
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Ebert’s Meats in Newport to close after 125 years in business