What Happened to the ‘Red Barn’ Restaurants?
Who used to get burgers at The Red Barn restaurant?
There have been numerous eateries called “Red Barn” for over 100 years...but this particular Red Barn began operations in 1961. There were over 300 locations spread out in over twenty states, Michigan being one of 'em.
Each restaurant was built to look like a red barn, so they were easy to pick out over all the other fast food joints.
Before McDonald's ever came up with the 'Big Mac' and Burger King created the 'Whopper', Red Barn churned out 'Big Barney' and 'Barnbuster' burgers. Red Barn was also known for their chicken meals, and is credited for having the very first fast food salad bar.
In the 1970s, Red Barn did their best to distance themselves from the usual burger places by not copying...but they did end up having their own cartoonish characters, The Hungries: 'Big Fish Hungry', 'Chicken Hungry', and 'Hamburger Hungry'.
By 1983 there were only 100 Red Barns left. The company was purchased, but in 1986 it declared bankruptcy, with a mere 22 Red Barns remaining. Some of them were turned into similar eateries called "The Farm", even using the same barn-shaped road sign.
So – do you remember visiting any of the Michigan Red Barns? Did you ever eat there and try their burgers and chicken? They really were tasty...
Take a look at the photo gallery – and videos – below, and remember!
RED BARN RESTAURANT, 1961-1986
MORE MICHIGAN FOOD:
Vintage Hamburger Diners and Michigan's First Drive-in Restaurant
Michigan Drive-In Restaurants & Memorabilia
Eight Fast Food Restaurants NOT in Michigan