MCALLEN, Texas – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a popular barbecue restaurant to close its doors after 38 years of business.
“It was mom, dad, four boys and our spouses,” Juan Villarreal, one of the owners of the Red Barn BBQ in McAllen said as he sat outside his empty business. “Believe it or not everybody, we used to all live here.”
He said the family owned restaurant was built from the ground up and expanded over the years.
“You do it with your eyes closed, get up every morning at 4:30,” Tomas Villarreal added.
Working, prepping, and staying true to the past. They made sure to keep the authenticity of their restaurant alive.
“All the recipes are my moms all my dad recipes are outside and ‘puro mesquite’ my dad would say,” Juan said.
A request they have honored that has kept their menu authentic. Keeping the community coming for more.
“Holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, was party time,” Juan’s wife Shelly Villarreal added as she looked through some early pictures of the restaurant.
Now they will spend time looking back at the memories.
“After all these years it is hard to lock your doors for the last time,” Juan said while holding back tears.
It was a decision the three owners made to keep their family and community safe.
The owners said since they announced they were closing they have received lots of kind messages from the community and hope they are able to open a small location later in the future.