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By Carissa Sitki
The Barefoot Bar Restaurant in Hardin has been closed since the flood of 2019, but will be opening its doors, once more, in a new location thanks to Brian Matthews; his sister, Kelly Sievers; and brother-in law, Phil Sievers, who are restoring the restaurant to its former glory.
The three purchased Barefoot’s name rights, some of the equipment, the signature recipes, and menu from the previous owner, Judy Herter. The restaurant was known for their famous fish and chicken, which will remain a staple at the “new” Barefoot.
“We might be adding a few new items to the menu, for specials and stuff like that,” said Matthews, “but the menu will be the same as before.”
Formerly located at RR 2, Barefoot’s upcoming location will be 106 Water St. in Hardin. The new owners closed on the building, that was once the Illini Medical Building, on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Renovation plans are underway.
“We’re going to keep the building about the same, but we’re going to open it up some,” said Sievers. “There’s a large deck on the front and we may add onto that for more outdoor seating.”
Everyone is really excited about Barefoot’s grand re-opening, according to Matthews.
Additionally, the new location is not as susceptible to flooding, according to Matthews, which is what contributed to the original Barefoot’s closed doors.
“It’s tough around here, when people come through town, because there aren’t a lot of places to eat,” said Matthews.
The new owners hope that the restaurant will bring more people to town to visit and patronize the other area businesses as well.
“That’ll be the most exciting thing,” said Matthews, “having more people back in town.”
Barefoot will begin serving up all of the old favorites, at their new location on Waters, when they open in 2022.