LIMA — The Old Barn is back and ready for the next generation of Lima.
The restaurant reopened Monday as the Old Barn Restaurant and Grill, unveiling a new look, new menu and new theme designed to bring multiple generations of Lima together in one place. Or as Old Barn’s new tagline says: Same family, next generation.
Owners Pete and Bridgett Williams took advantage of Ohio’s stay-at-home order, during which the restaurant temporarily closed, to finally tackle the renovations and menu updates the couple have been dreaming about for years.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” Bridgett Williams said.
The barn now has a fresh look: black paint with white trim on the outside, whitewashed walls on the inside. All but one of the restaurant’s wagon-wheel lights have been removed, while the lanterns that once hung from the wagon wheels now decorate the walls and hang above the booths.
String lights are draped across the beams, evoking a rustic chic atmosphere.
The restaurant’s original fireplace has been preserved, as have four beams that were saved and restored after the original barn burned down in 1984. Those beams have been incorporated into a bar, where patrons can order the new Old Barn Original Brew or one of Moeller Brew Barn’s popular brews now on tap.
The menu has been updated too, incorporating modern favorites like beer pretzels, cheese curds and flatbreads. One new dessert the Williams family is particularly excited about is the cookie skillet, an under-baked chocolate chip cookie served with a fork and a skillet.
But old-time favorites like Old Barn’s fried chicken, cinnamon rolls and dinner buffets will remain.
This time, patrons will wear a disposable glove while serving themselves at the salad bar, in keeping with Ohio’s coronavirus safety precautions. Plexiglass barriers have been installed between tables, at the salad bar and at the register, too.
And the restaurant plans to open an outdoor patio this summer, complete with fire pits that will allow patrons to eat outdoors well into the fall.
“We are trying to make sure that we’re accommodating everybody, into the next generation,” Bridgett Williams said. “(We’re) bringing them together.”