By Sarah Newberry / Staff Writer
Built from the ground up in 2015, The Barn, a restaurant in Burrton, has been a place where the community can feel like they’re at home.
With a grain bin from her family farm, a hanging rooster decoration from her aunt, and her grandpa’s toolbox, Leslie Matlack works hard to achieve that homey feel. The Barn is a place that can make you feel like you can kick back your feet and relax.
Matlack likes that about The Barn. She said it makes her feel sentimental. Located off of the US 50 Highway, it is a place where locals gather who want homecooked food. Although when the idea of The Barn came around and where it would be, Matlack could never have anticipated the turnout.
“We didn’t expect it to be as big of a deal as it is,” Matlack said.
The Barn offers a unique variety of homecooked food, ranging from slop bucket nachos to chicken in a waffle cone. All of the items on the menu come from fresh ingredients and fresh-cut meat, never frozen. However, the restaurant’s most popular menu item is the chicken fried steak, and Matlack said she has no idea why.
“Everybody loves that chicken fried steak,” Matlack said.
Sara McMillian, one of the servers that have been there since the beginning, said her favorite food at the restaurant is about anything fried.
The idea for the Barn came around when Matlack and her husband were talking and thinking of setting up a deli-type restaurant downtown. But the building that they looked at was not structurally sound, so they built the restaurant themselves, and business has been booming ever since.
“We want to be here for the community and provide a place for them to meet, congregate, and have fellowship,” Matlack said.
Matlack tries to make people feel welcome, and it doesn’t matter what you are wearing or where you have been, because farmers come in all the time from working in the fields. The people who work there also feel welcome and like working there.
“I love working here and have been since it opened,” McMillian said.
McMillian began helping set up the restaurant. Still, it got so busy that she felt like she had to help by being a sever.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business my whole life, and it just felt natural to me,” McMillian said.
Like the owner, McMillian didn’t expect The Barn to be busy as it was the first night because Burrton is a small town, located about 16 miles east of Hutchinson and 19 miles west of Newton. But they were both surprised, along with others working in the restaurant.
“We opened the doors thinking, it’s Burrton, we’d be lucky to have a full house the first night, but it was super busy. The community welcomed us with open arms,” McMillian said.