J-Barn Country Inn’s owners plan sale of all of the restaurant’s contents
After closing abruptly, an iconic rural restaurant in Buffalo Township is for sale.
The shuttered J-Barn Country Inn, at 495 Monroe Road, was listed by Berkshire Hathaway in late July with an asking price of $450,000.
Annual taxes are listed at $8,720.
The Trib reported on the sudden closing of the J-Barn Country Inn in September 2018.
The owners responsible for the closing
filed for bankruptcy last year.
The property reverted back to longtime owners Karen and James Walsh, who were private party lenders.
The Walshes purchased J-Barn in 1994 and operated the eatery for 25 years.
For the Walshes, the decision to sell brings mixed emotions.
“We have so many personal, cherished memories of our time owning the J-Barn. We raised our two children while owning the restaurant and watched them work side by side with us every day,” Karen Walsh said. “We definitely could write a book on all the experiences we had owning a restaurant.
“The takeaway would be the loyalty of our staff and customers and all the lasting friendships we made along the way.”
Customer loyalty ran deep at the J-Barn.
The Walshes recalled one particular “crazy” Mother’s Day that ended up with a “silver lining.”
“We had about 600 guests coming to celebrate Mother’s Day with their family, and the power went out,” Karen Walsh said. “We had no way to prepare the food.”
The staff explained the bad news to the first wave of customers, many moms decked out in Mother’s Day corsages.
“One customer went out of her way to call a family member (who worked for the utility company), and she explained our unique situation,” Karen Walsh said. “And within an hour, the power was back on. That’s how wonderful our customers were.”
The property offers a little over 5 acres, and the restaurant features four dining rooms with seating for 325.
Other highlights include a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor grill, cooler and freezer, a three-bedroom residence, two gift shops, storage, a 60-by-100-foot outbuilding and a 120-car parking lot across from the restaurant.
“This is an iconic restaurant in the area,” said Realtor Jack Hutterer. “It was a destination for years in Western Pennsylvania as a farm-to-table restaurant. It’s turn-key ready.”
Verne Bergstrom, 26, of Buffalo Township is pleased that the J-Barn may have a second chance. Bergstrom grew up dining there with his family, who were frequent customers.
“I’m happy that someone was able to take over and at least do something with the building,” Bergstrom said. “With all of the new development and increasing populations of younger families (in the township), a fine dining establishment or a microbrewery would be something I would like to see go in the space.”
The public is invited to a content sale of hundreds of J-Barn items, organized by the Walshes.
The Walshes seasonally decorated the restaurant and operated two gift shops during their ownership.
Among the items that will be for sale are antiques, crocks, restaurant supplies, quilts, folk art, furniture, decor from all seasons, glassware, wooden bowls, dishes, silverware and more.
“You name it, it’s probably here and for sale — all priced to move,” they said.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.