New Beef Barn location opening next month

New Beef Barn location opening next month

Co-owner Marc Branchaud stands outside the new Beef Barn location at 200 Industrial Drive. Branchaud said he expects the new location to open by Sept. 1. (Breeze photos by Lauren Clem)

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Renovations on the new Beef Barn at 200 Industrial Drive are almost complete, and co-owner Marc Branchaud said they hope to relocate to the new building next month.

Branchaud, who co-owns the restaurant with his sister, Michelle, said he expects to complete the move by Sept. 1. Customers should expect the old location on the corner of Greenville and Smithfield roads to close about two to three weeks earlier as they get ready to relocate, he said.

“It’s just punch list stuff now,” he said during a tour of the new location this week.

The goal, he said, was to relocate the restaurant while keeping as many things the same as possible. The new space offers a similar setup to the old one, with a meat slicer and counter service at the center of a barn-shaped building, but with more room for staff to operate. Dining areas around the sides of the building also offer more space for customers, including a private room that can seat 12 to 14 people.

“So if we get a sports team or something, they can sit here,” Branchaud said.

Despite the changes, much about the new building will be familiar to customers. On Tuesday, Branchaud’s uncle, Andy Branchaud, could be found building out the “chicken coop,” a favorite seating area for customers. Branchaud said his uncle built the room in the original restaurant and was brought out of retirement to build the new one.

One of the biggest pieces coming to the new location is the silo. Branchaud said he plans to break the signature item into three pieces and transport it on a truck from the old restaurant. The silo, he said, was originally located on his grandfather’s farm on Pound Hill Road before it became a part of the Greenville Road location.

“He moved it in one piece. Put it on a flatbed and took down every power line that went across the street,” he said.

Branchaud said they made the decision before the COVID-19 pandemic to relocate to a larger property they could purchase. Though his father, Normand, built the original Beef Barn on the corner of Greenville Road and Smithfield Road in 1969, he never owned the land. Instead, the property belonged to the Valliere family, who still own the lot today.

After buying the former Homestead Gardens property for $450,000, the Branchauds hired J.B. Cote Construction to outfit the space. The project involved putting a new front addition on the existing barn-like building and fixing up the grounds and outbuildings. A patio on the exterior will offer outdoor seating for customers.


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As part of the new venture, they also plan to open an ice cream and coffee shop in a former storage building on the property. Pound Hill Creamery and Café, named in honor of their grandfather’s dairy farm, will offer indoor and outdoor seating and open around the same time as the restaurant.

“I always wanted to put ice cream at the other location, but there’s no room,” Branchaud said.

Earlier this week, the Town Council approved a liquor license to serve beer and wine at the new location. The family has also applied for a tax stabilization agreement to help bear the costs of the renovation. Though the council is not scheduled to vote on the agreement until next month, Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski told The Breeze this week he expects it will be a 10-year agreement that will gradually phase in taxes at the new location over a decade.

“It’s a great thing to retain business,” Zwolenski said. “For some businesses, that can be the margin. They can move out of town.”

Branchaud said customers should expect prices to go up slightly, but not because of the relocation. Like construction materials, he said, certain food items have been hard to come by and going up in price. Combined with the rising cost of rent, he said, the business was becoming unsustainable at their old location.

“If I would’ve stayed where I was at, you would’ve paid $8 for a roast beef sandwich because the rent’s going up,” he said.

Asked whether he thinks customers will drive the two additional miles from Woonsocket to visit the new location, Branchaud laughed.

“It’s a long way. There’s no hotel between the two of us,” he said, before adding some customers didn’t like the old location because of the parking situation.

Branchaud said customers can expect to see decorations disappearing from the old location over the next few weeks as they begin to transition. Once it closes, he said, the new one will open in another two to three weeks.

Andy Branchaud builds out the “chicken coop” seating area in the new location.

Comments

I drive by daily to check on the progress. What a beautiful spot this is, with the ponds and grounds. Sure beats the current location. I hope scattered picnic tables are planned for the grounds...