The roots of the Webber Restaurant Group are in farming and conservation, both of which are strongly reflected in how the businesses are run today. The Gibbet Hill Farm was in existence for 50 years before any of the other businesses, and serves as the both the inspiration and source for the food that is served. Black Angus beef, which has been raised on the farm since 1949, is featured in the restaurants. Additionally, much of the produce for the other Webber Restaurant Group businesses is grown on the Gibbet Hill Farm.
The act of conservation that led to the eventual formation of Webber Restaurant Group was the purchase of Gibbet Hill Farm in 2000 by Steve and Nancy Webber. Their intention in purchasing the 500-acre farm was simply to avoid having it broken into the 80+ house lots that it was approved for under a local developer’s plan. With that act finished, their son Josh then successfully worked with the state, town, and various other conservation groups to have the land put permanently into conservation, ensuring that it would only be used for agricultural purposes. It was only after the land was saved that attention was brought to the barns, with the question of what they should now be used for. Josh, together with siblings Kate and Jed, and Jed’s wife, Asia, decided that their best use would be a restaurant and an event facility, inspired by the land that it was on and that could serve as a community gathering place for the people that lived nearby. The Gibbet Hill Grill and the Barn at Gibbet Hill were born. With the success of Gibbet Hill, the Webber Restaurant Group expanded, first with Scarlet Oak Tavern, then Fireside Catering. Soon after, Fireside Catering became the exclusive caterer to the Estate at Moraine Farm, Fruitlands Museum, LaBelle Winery, and the preferred vendor to many of the area’s historic and unique event venues. The partnership with Fruitlands Museum grew further as Gibbet Hill Grill took over the museum’s seasonal cafe, serving museum guests April through October. Finally, one decade after the first restaurant opened, Webber Restaurant Group opened The Bancroft, a chef-driven steakhouse and craft cocktail lounge that blends old-school hospitality with a new-school urban aesthetic.
Today, the Webber Restaurant Group stands as an independent, family-owned restaurant group that is dedicated to furthering the local food movement, and running its businesses in a sustainable, responsible, and professional manner.
How far do we take it?
We love lemons and limes. We love olives. We love coffee. None of these things grow in New England, but they make eating more enjoyable, so we aren’t going to remove them from our menu. We don’t think of ourselves as overly ideological, we just really love the food that is grown around here and want to share it with all of you. We believe that with a little extra effort, organization, and planning, it is possible to make local sourcing a reality in this area.