An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Dec 5, 2013
10:47 AM
The Connecticut Table

"Little Barn" Opens in Westport

"Little Barn" Opens in Westport

Passing motorists have been watching for months as a small building on the Post Road in Westport slowly metamorphosed from scruffy hot dog place to inviting pub. Now’s their chance to step inside: After several preview events—and a brush with fire the night of the opening cocktail party last night—Little Barn opened its doors to the public today.

What will they find? One of the coziest eating-and-drinking establishments around, with an interior wrapped in reclaimed red barn siding, a two-sided stone fireplace and big sliding doors that open to an outside patio. There are attractive vintage black-and-white photos on the walls, and a hostess station fashioned from an old tractor grill.

The bar area is one of the most inviting we’ve seen in a long time, with wonderful light fixtures made from old barn-roof vent caps and a neon “Liquor Store” sign that casts a warm glow over all.

Little Barn is the latest collaboration of successful local restaurateurs Scott Beck and Kevin McHugh. “We love the location,” says Beck. (It was a Swanky Frank’s for years and before that a Dairy Queen.) “It’s an iconic building. We kept the shape of the space and roofline, but after that it was demo’d down to the studs. We basically turned the space into a barn, then built a pub inside it.”

The menu reads like a Best Hits of contemporary casual fare, with no dish over $20: fried calamari, Guinness beef chili, jalapeño poppers and tacos, nachos and chicken wings. There’s a char-grilled striped-bass sandwich, pulled pork on an English muffin, burgers on brioche, and main dishes like fish-and-chips, steak frites, chicken potpie and turkey meatloaf.  And not to worry: Little Barn doesn’t skimp on healthy-eating options—there are plenty of salads [including the now-ubiquitous kale], says Beck, and the kids’ menu (“Half Pints”) choices are served with veggie sticks and apple slices.

Beck and McHugh go way back BTW—they were founding partners of The Loft (1997) and Match (1999) in SoNo. The two opened the popular Chelsea in Fairfield together in 2012 and now have six restaurants between them. McHugh co-owns Spotted Horse in Westport and The Gray Goose in Fairfield; Beck is still a co-owner of Match and The Loft.

We think the pair has another winner on their hands.

Oh, and about that fire? It started in a dumpster on Wednesday night and scorched the back of the building, but Beck and McHugh were unfazed. The opening cocktail party went off as planned, and today they’re open for business. “It didn’t deter us,” says Beck.

Little Barn, 1050 Post Road (near Barnes & Noble), 203/557-8501.

"Little Barn" Opens in Westport

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