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SKU: SUZ-Proj106Zen Bar Restaurant Full Renovation
Bar Restaurant Full Renovation
Purchase Bar Restaurant Full Renovation
  • SKU: SUZ-Proj106Zen Bar Restaurant Full Renovation

This major renovation changed a 40 year old restaurant into a vibrant restaurant-bar-music and events venue. The space is a 75 year old  dairy barn. It had been a fine dining restaurant for the  last 40 years.

The Goals

The new owners had many different ideas on how to use the space:

  • They had grown up in this area and wanted to be a resource for community events.
  • They wanted a local bar for gathering, music venue with varying genres,
  • The wanted a dining room for meeting up with friends and having conversation with remarkable food.
  • Offering accessable events space for business meetings, weddings and community organizations.

The end requirement is the space needed to do it all. The owners also knew they were a bit off the beaten track so a memorable experience with both food and decor was essential.

Renovation-Changing the Layout

I removed the sheetrock ceiling, false beams and exposed the floor joints. The paint exposed was an old white wash. Reclaimed wood flooring was put down. The resulting space is large.  Wide, old barn doors were scavenged and repurposed as movable dividers.

The general feel of the space is a mix of original barn, industrial modern and whimsical. Hand hewned beams, I beams, irregular stone and lots of new lighting were all installed.

Some Results

Upon entering the restaurant, guests see colorful round hightop tables, stools and a bar with tons of interesting details. The liquor bottles glisten on the thick reclaimed wood shelves with distressed patchwork galvanized wall behind them . Old wood from an Amish carriage house adorns the counter. Epoxy covering the wood magnifies the holes made by the carriages. The colorful bar stools next to the bar were designed by the owner. They tell the story of the renovation and local life in a whimical way. The front of the bar is covered with poly sealed old, rusted roofing, I had stored this roofing since 1995 and was looking for just the right place to use it. It makes for an interesting finish.

There is a gather table to encourage people to hang out and share stories. The tables and stools can be spun up or down to adjust heights for customer needs. The main dining area is separated from the bar area by large, repurposed barn doors hanging from the ceiling. The dining area is more quiet yet still rustic.

The tables were handcrafted with repurposed wood. They fit nicely together as farm tables or can be pulled apart for separate dining. The surprise of different metal words inlaid in the tops is an extra detail. Hand made salt and paper shakers and ceramic luminaires add a small pop of color to the tables. Acoustic ceiling tiles were added in the back dining area to allow conversation even when live music was on stage in near the bar.

More to Come

Now, waiting for more photos- Watch this space for updates - Meanwhile you can visit Zenbarn Tuesday - Sunday, 4:30 - closing and experience it yourself. Or visit to see the menu, current events, make a reservation or inquire about having your wedding or other event indoors or outside at ZenBarn.