Underground Butcher at 811 Williamson St. is set to close Dec. 15. 

Underground Butcher, a small whole-animal butcher shop, deli and artisan food store on Madison's east side, will close on Sunday, Dec. 15. 

Underground Butcher opened seven years ago at 811 Williamson St. Founder/owner Jonny Hunter said Underground's other businesses are doing well, but it was time to shutter this one.

"It has been a joy to be a part of the Marquette neighborhood over the past seven years," Hunter wrote in a statement. "We are really proud of the accomplishments of Underground Butcher and it saddens me greatly to close it — but it is time to end." 

Hunter mentioned employees Michael Signorelli, Dietrich Gosser, Joslyn Mink, Sophia Phillips and Steve Dawson as being essential to the shop's work. 

Underground Butcher is part of Underground Food Collective, a collective of food businesses. Forequarter was a highly acclaimed restaurant that, like Butcher, opened in 2012. It closed in September, citing parking and staffing issues.

UFC includes Underground Meats, a sausage-making business with a facility on East Wilson Street. Hunter has a small role in The Heights, a near west cafe that's a partnership with Evan Gruzis and Nicole Rogers. A new project at Garver Feed Mill is also a partnership, Hunter said, called Garver Events. 

Underground Butcher is among few small scale butchers in the Madison area and one of very few places to get meat raised in a more sustainable way (using fewer or no antibiotics, pasture-raised, processed locally). Another is Conscious Carnivore, on University Avenue. 

Dry cured salami from Underground Meats will still be available at The Heights, the Willy Street Co-op (all three locations), Fromagination, Metcalfe's Market and other vendors. 

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