Founder of Beef Barn, Coffee & Cream dies at 82


NORTH SMITHFIELD – A well-known restauranteur and builder who founded several iconic town businesses died this week at the age of 82.

Normand Branchaud, of North Smithfield, died on Saturday, Oct. 3 in the Philip Hulitar Inpatient Center in Providence.

Branchaud, a lifelong resident of the town, began his career in local restaurants as a teen assisting his father, Milton, in building the former Friendly Club on Eddie Dowling Highway. He built the Beef Barn in 1969; with a second location built in Bellingham in 1971. He was also well known for his popular nightclub La Cave below the Bellingham Beef Barn.

He also built the popular El Toro lounge in 1973 beneath the Village Haven, where he created a rising stage as the bands played and water fountains flowed overhead.

He built Coffee & Cream in a lot neighboring the North Smithfield Beef Barn in 1991. His son Jonathan took over the business, which recently reopened in Slatersville Plaza, in 2010.

According to Branchaud’s obituary, he was involved in many other restaurants as well, including the old Blue Grotto in Providence.

Branchaud also served in the U.S. Navy. He was a hockey coach, and he played the sport until his late 50’s.

He was the husband of the late Eva Branchaud and the late Rolande Branchaud and is survived by two sons, Marc Branchaud and his wife, Leslie of North Smithfield, Jonathan and his wife, Heather of North Smithfield; three daughters, Stefanie Loxley and her husband, Jason of North Smithfield, Melissa Humphrey and her husband, Steven of Lincoln, and Michelle Branchaud of North Smithfield; a brother, C. Andre Branchaud and his wife, Suzanne of North Smithfield; a sister, Rachel C. Narodowy and her husband, David of North Smithfield; and seven grandchildren, Jameson and Finnian Loxley, Harvey Humphrey, Violet and Oliver Branchaud, and Sarah and Matthew Christie.

Visitation will be held, Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Holt Funeral Home at 510 South Main St., Woonsocket. Funeral service attendance is private, but may be viewed live at 12 p.m. on Wednesday at Social distancing guidelines will be implemented upon arrival at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hope Health, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904.

The complete obituary can be found here.

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