Beef Barn no.1

also known as the former Homestead Gardens

A family eatery for 50 years at the same corner moves its menu and its silo to a new location in 2021

About this Property

Reason for Relocation

The owners of the Beef Barn restaurant never owned the land that the building sat on. Under threat of rising rent, the owners decided to move the restaurant — and the iconic silo — to a new location that is more in keeping with the farm theme. The former Homestead Gardens building will be a roomier home with six acres of open land surrounding it. The owners plan to expand the business after the main restaurant reopens.

As someone born in North Smithfield, our family had frequented the Beef Barn since the mid-80s. We remember well the tables, the kitschy decor all over the walls, and the great food at very low prices. I took my wife while we were dating and have taken my kids, too. Thick milk shakes, burgers, the strip beef sandwiches, chicken fingers and fries… was the food fantastic? No, but it was memorable and affordable and the service was quick with no frills. The milk shakes are pretty fantastic.

We look forward to trying the new location once they open back up, and hope to see them expand to offer “Coffee & Cream”-style breakfast once again.

Current Events

The Beef Barn is open in its new location at 200 Industrial Drive, North Smithfield RI, with the same silo. Check the website for updates about their reopening or for menus.


No formal history yet. Aerial photos show this building pop up between 1962 and 1972.

In the News

Iconic North Smithfield restaurant — and its silo — hitting the road

by Paul Edward Parker
Providence Journal | August 3, 2021

Read the full article

In the late 1970s, Rolande Branchaud found herself the single mother of two and owner of a failing restaurant that would become a Northern Rhode Island icon: the Beef Barn.

Today, the more-than-50-year-old family business finds itself at a crossroads again.

Although the Beef Barn has been on the same corner for half a century, it never owned the building or the land it calls home.

The perils of that lack of ownership came into sharper focus in December 2017, when the Coffee & Cream, a popular breakfast and coffee shop that shares the same parcel, burned down.

The company that owns the land offered no guarantees that a future tenant would be a compatible business. And it said the rents would rise sharply, according to Michelle Branchaud, Rolande Branchaud’s daughter and current owner of the business with her brother, Marc Branchaud.

So now, the Beef Barn is hitting the road, but not straying far from its roots.

The original Beef Barn, which will remain open through Sunday at 1 Greenville Rd., was the brainchild of Normand Branchaud, Rolande’s husband at the time, although a key part of it dates to Normand’s father, Milton Branchaud.

Milton and his two brothers, Ernest and Henry, owned the Pound Hill Dairy Farm, which, like most dairy farms, had a barn and a silo.

Over the years, the silo wound up being moved to the Marshall Farm, where it sat in 1969 when Normand dreamed up the Beef Barn.

“Normand might have worked a deal,” said cousin Roger Branchaud.

When the Beef Barn opened, it featured a small dining room in the silo, attached to the rest of the restaurant.

Normand’s children say that as much as their father was creative — he was the force behind the Coffee & Cream and other area eateries — he wasn’t much of a businessman.

When Rolande divorced Normand — the decree was final in 1980 but had been years in the making — the Beef Barn was broke. Marc and Michelle credit their mother, who had been a hairdresser in Manville before jumping into the restaurant business, for building it into an enduring success.

The new Beef Barn, at 200 Industrial Drive, about two miles from the original, will feature the original silo from Milton’s farm.

After the original restaurant closes Sunday, the silo will be dismantled, along with the refrigeration and other restaurant equipment, and moved up the road, where it will again be a dining room with five two-person tables.

The new Beef Barn will have an air of familiarity to customers of the old restaurant. The layout will be built around a central U-shaped service counter, but the silo will be to the left instead of to the right of the counter and the dimensions will be a little roomier.

The menu will be the same, featuring the signature roast beef and pastrami sandwiches, along with steak sandwiches, burgers, chicken cutlets and fries, plus something new: beer and wine.

Patrons will find a much roomier 65-car parking lot on the six-acre parcel that the Branchauds bought for $450,000. The Branchauds put more than that into renovations to two existing buildings on the property, including a post-and-beam addition to the main restaurant building.

What will be brand new to current customers is the second building: the Pound Hill Creamery & Café, harking back to Milton and his brothers on the Pound Hill Dairy Farm.

The creamery will feature Gifford’s ice cream, coffee and simple breakfast foods, such as muffins, bagels, egg sandwiches and fruit cups.

Both the main restaurant and the creamery will have indoor and outdoor seating.

The Branchauds hope to open the new location — they will be maintaining a second Beef Barn in Bellingham, Massachusetts — by Labor Day weekend.

Captured August 22, 2021 from

The Story Behind North Smithfield’s Beef Barn

by Samantha Labrecque
RI Monthly | December 19, 2019

Read the article and look at the great pictures on the RI Monthly website.

Beef Barn relocating to Homestead Gardens property

by Lauren Clem
Valley Breeze | November 20, 2019

Read the full article

It was 1969 when Normand Branchaud, father of current owners Marc and Michelle Branchaud, opened the Beef Barn restaurant on the corner of Smithfield and Greenville Roads.

Now, 50 years later, the business is on the move, with a new location planned for a property that’s familiar to many area residents.

On Saturday, the owners announced on Facebook they plan to move the business to the former Homestead Gardens property at 200 Industrial Drive. The post drew an immediate reaction from the restaurant’s many devoted patrons, quickly racking up more than 600 shares.

Explaining the decision to move, Marc and Michelle said it came about because of physical limitations at their current property. The corner lot, which is owned by the Valliere family of North Smithfield, has limited parking and suffers from congestion at the light on Smithfield Road. The new location, they said, will offer six acres of property with room to expand the business.

“This rustic setting will allow us to not only increase our seating capacity, but also provide outdoor seasonal seating and ample parking,” they wrote. “Our plan is to keep as much originality of the ‘Barn’ with a little more elbow room.”

In 1969, Normand Branchaud constructed the original Beef Barn after leasing the corner lot from the Valliere family. His ex-wife, Rolande, later took over the business, eventually passing it on to their son, Marc, and daughter, Michelle. Normand continued to operate Coffee & Cream restaurant in the building next door, which today is owned by his son, Jonathan.

In December 2017, the building that housed Coffee & Cream was destroyed by a fire, leaving an empty space next to the Beef Barn’s iconic building. Though the Beef Barn was unharmed, Marc and Michelle said in their post that fire and demolition issues contributed to the decision to move the business. Coffee & Cream reopened at a new location in Slatersville Plaza this week.

The move will bring new life to a property that has been empty for many years. Once a private business known for its farm animals and Christmas displays, Homestead Gardens later reopened as a recreational space and workshop for people with disabilities under the Woonsocket-based Homestead Group. Since the group left the property in 2011, it’s been the site of occasional events and briefly hosted an ice cream shop. At one time, the town considered purchasing the property to build a new public safety complex.

Marc and Michelle said they hope to complete renovations at the new property and open in late summer 2020. The current location will remain open seven days per week in the meantime, they said.

The announcement drew mixed reactions from patrons. While most applauded the move, some, in typical Rhode Island fashion, said the new location – just over two miles from the current location – was too far away to frequent.

This is the second major announcement to come out of the popular business in the past few years. In 2017, the Branchauds reopened a second location in Bellingham, Mass., that their father had briefly run in the 1970s.

The new location, like the Bellingham location, will serve beer and wine along with the usual menu of roast beef and casual favorites.

Captured August 22, 2021 from