Bloomington yesterday: Big, bold eating at the Red Barn

Hungry herds headed for the Red Barn restaurant in its heyday. From 1966 until its closure in the late ’70s, the Red Barn was a fixture at West 90th Street and Penn Avenue South. The restaurant was part of an Ohio-based chain with hundreds of locations dotting the U.S.

Remember the theme song, “When the ‘hungries’ hit, when the ‘hungries’ hit, hit the Red Barn?” Mascots Hamburger Hungry, Chicken Hungry and Big Fish Hungry starred in clever commercials marketing what more resembled fast food than farm food. Quickly prepared, oversized, American-style fare dominated the menu. Maybe you indulged in a Barnbuster burger or Big Barney burger?

In a nod to healthy eaters, the Red Barn was one of the first franchises to offer a salad bar, dubbed “a garden of  eatin’” loaded with veggies. No one left hungry from the Red Barn.