RE: Anyone remember Red Barn?
I remember the Red Barn! It was my first "real" job when I was in High School here in Minneapolis, MN. I first started in 1977, and stayed with the place until it went out of business in 1982. I still have a couple of shirts that I was supposed to return but didn't. I worked back on the grill where I made Hamburgers, Cheesburgers, Big Barneys, Barn Busters, Chicken, Fish, and Apple Pies. An interesting fact about the Big Barney; Red Barn invented the double-decker sandwich in 1964, and McDonalds didn't have Big Macs until 1968. Unfortunately since McDonalds was much bigger, guess who had to get rid of their double-decker sandwich?
When I worked at Red Barn, hamburgers were 35¢, and cheeseburgers 10¢ more. Big Barneys were 99¢, and I believe Barn Busters, the ¼-pounders, were $1.09.
Our chicken was deep fried like KFC's but our pieces were bigger. I remember being told to "drop a run of chicken" in the pressure cooker which consisted of 36 pieces. We had to drop the chicken in a certain order too, because the dark meat cooked slower than the white meat. That is how I learned the anotamy of a chicken. The drop order was: Thighs, legs, keels, wings, breasts. It took 10 minutes to cook, then had to be laid out on a large metal tray in a certain order before being placed in the "Warmer."
We also had a salad bar in the lobby, which wasn't very good in my opinion. The lettuce was usually wilted. The building was shaped like a barn and colored red, but our uniforms were pea green. The girls up front got to wear red scarfs though. We had commercials on TV where they asked you if you had the "Hamburger Hungries."
In the mid-1960's we made our own french fries from scratch. They were awarded the Best Fries of any Fast Food place! Red Barn was head-quartered in Florida, and most restaurants you went to were privately owned franchises. Some of the old Red Barns around here are still standing but have been converted to Taco Bell's or Arby's. One became a used car dealer.
About 10 years ago there was a classified ad in a local newspaper which read, "Remember the Red Barn?" It was a call for a Red Barn reunion party. I went and was the only representative from my store, but I got to meet a lot of fellow employees from other local stores around. They even had old 8mm movies and tons of pictures from our Red Barn days. I wore one of my old uniforms and got a lot of flack from the former managers about not turning them in when I quit. Found out one of our former employees now lives in Austrailia!
Well that's all for now....