Buffalo in the 1970s: Fast-food joint Red Barn was ‘for when the hungries hit’

       By Steve Cichon

With about a dozen or so locations over the decade-and-a-half the national chain was represented in Western New York, Red Barn was one of Buffalo’s more popular fast-food joints in the 1970s.

Red Barn ads, featuring Hamburger Hungry, from 1971.

When the store opened across Main Street from the UB South Campus (in a building that is now a Subway restaurant), an ad invited readers to “discover what’s new in delicious top quality food, big helpings, quick self-service, and unbelievably modest prices.”

The Red Barn located on Main Street in Buffalo in 1971.

Known for hamburgers like the “Big Barney” and the “Barnbuster,” Red Barn also served up fried chicken by the bucket or barrel.

The remaining Buffalo stores closed in the early ’80s and the last Red Barns in the country closed in 1988.

Several former locations in the Buffalo area retain the trademarked barn-like shape of the franchise’s logo.

A butcher shop is located in the former Kensington Avenue location in Snyder, and there’s a sporting goods store inside the former Sheridan Drive location in Tonawanda next to Ted’s Hot Dogs.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.