NORTH SMITHFIELD – Five years ago, a property at 3 Greenville Road held not one, but two, of the busiest restaurants in town.
Now the lot, situated by one of North Smithfield’s most visible intersections, features a massive parking lot.
The building that held the Beef Barn Restaurant before its move to Industrial Drive last summer came down on Thursday, July 7, with Rhode Island Disposal contracted to demolish the iconic structure.
The unique barn-shaped restaurant was built by the late Normand Branchaud in 1969. The business has served as a staple for casual dining since, with a small menu of sandwiches and desserts, and an atmosphere to match, featuring a miniature train, chicken coops and a silo.
Branchaud’s son Marc Branchaud began working at the family business once he graduated college, ultimately taking over operations of the establishment.
In 2019, the younger Branchaud purchased an 18-acre property on Industrial Drive that once held Homestead Gardens. Over the next several years, he would build a new and improved Beef Barn Restaurant, replicating the original. Even the well-known silo from the building was relocated to the new location.
But without the bustle of happy diners, the partially destroyed Greenville Road building became something of an eyesore.
That ended this week as the structure joined the original Coffee & Cream building in becoming just a fond memory for locals.
The sister restaurant, a breakfast stop also built by Branchaud just next door to the Beef Barn, first opened on the property in 1991, and was run by members of the same family. It was damaged by a fire in 2017, and that building was also ultimately demolished, with the restaurant later reopening in Slatersville Plaza.
The now vacant property is owned by Albert Valliere, and was previously leased by the Branchauds.