It happened again.

Another Hudson Valley based business shut their doors without any warning to customers and the community, and once again people are left with gift cards and certificates that will no longer be honored.

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Bluestone Kitchen & Bar Poughkeepsie Shutters

This Poughkeepsie spot was a newer one, especially when compared to some of the anchor restaurants and bars in this particular area of the Hudson Valley. However, the fact that they closed, seemingly, without notice to their customers doesn't make the news any easier, especially for those who currently have gift certificates they can no longer use.

A social media post on Sunday November 5th from the official Bluestone Kitchen & Bar page indicating that they would be closing that same day, November 5th, came as a shock to many.

In their message, they did reference a 'next adventure' with the hashtag #bluescrew, indicating that something new was in the works, but customers still expressed their disappointment and frustration after learning the news.

Bluestone Gift Card Holders Frustrated By Restaurant's Closure

Following the announcement of the closure, several people shared thank you messages and notes about Bluestone Kitchen & Bar being such a great spot, especially for those with gluten allergies or Celiac disease. In addition to these messages though, were a few concerned customers who indicated that they recently purchased gift certificates for the Poughkeepsie restaurant that can no longer be used.

Catherine from Poughkeepsie was one of the first to share that she had recently purchased a gift card, as a gift for someone, in the amount of $140, on September 20th. Now, less than two months later, that gift card is worth nothing.

My husband and I enjoyed Bluestone. My husband thought they had a great craft beer offerings and we were always satisfied with our meals. We bought the gift card to share the experience for two friends. Both craft beer fans that Bluestone had the potential of gaining new customers.

Catherine and her husband reached out to the restaurant and left a phone message, and to date have not received a call back. They did get a response via an Instagram direct message from Bluestone:

screenshot of a message between customer and Bluestone Kitchen & Bar
Catherine G.

Others shared similar experiences on Instagram and Facebook regarding the status of gift cards, indicating that they would be filing appeals/complaints to credit card companies and/or the NYS Attorney General in order to get their money refunded.

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Supporting Small Can Be Tricky Business

In speaking further with Catherine from Poughkeepsie regarding her experience, and reflecting about those who shared their concerns over the Marlene Weber situation, and the Poughkeepsie consignment shop that closed up earlier this year, the issue is not the businesses closing, but rather the practices leading up to the closure and doing right by your customers.

For those folks who feel like I should just take the punch and how tough it is for restaurants to survive, I work hard for my money as well. Buying a gift card from a small business shouldn’t be like Russian roulette - will you actually be able to cash it in or the business will take the money as a cash grab.

Susan Vineyard
Susan Vineyard

Plenty of businesses have announced closures, advertised to customers about their last days in business (well in advance) and ensured that those with appointments or unused funds were able to get their services. It's the last-minute announcements and not doing right by your customers that has the community speaking up, yet again.

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Gallery Credit: Conor Walsh