Tweaking a business model is nothing new in today’s restaurant industry. Often, it’s a requirement. Credit the team behind the newly redesigned Fox Barn at Twenty9 with fashioning a relaxed spot in the thick of things—one that still feels out of the way. “We decided to re-brand from a full-service two-story restaurant and utilize the space as an event venue with a themed pub specializing in barbecue and other pub-type cuisine.” says Fox Barn partner Patricia Archie.
The historic Chester County structure has undergone a remarkable $1.3 million transformation. Opening up the space and exposing the 50-foot beamed ceiling brings back the charm of the original barn. An inside/outside bar, a trendy garage door and 2,000 square feet of open deck come with stunning views of Great Valley and beyond. The area features pillowed seating under pergolas, a flower wall, tables with umbrellas, and well-thought-out deck lighting and string lights. “We had an architect do some of the design work as we reconfigured the deck area and made it wrap-around,” Archie says. “The interior design was a combination of myself and my partner, Edwin Tietjen.”
Tietjen also worked his magic on the pub menu. Approachable comfort food options like tater tots (plain or with sriracha sauce) and smoked chicken quesadillas help to fill that happy hour void. Go all in with a combo of tots, prime rib eggs rolls, wings and buttermilk chicken tenders. I also recommend the smoked brisket nachos.
Taco Tuesday happens five days a week at Fox Barn, with a choice of hickory-smoked pulled pork, fried grouper, smoked Black Angus beef brisket or adobo grilled chicken. Toppings include pico de gallo, Monterey Jack, cilantro and lime. Burgers, sandwiches and gluten-free wraps are also available, along with a wood-grilled eight-ounce salmon. For heartier appetites, there’s a sampler tray loaded with beef brisket, pulled pork, bratwurst and a choice of two sides (cole slaw, dirty rice and black beans, cornbread, and baked mac and cheese).
House-made desserts include warm ricotta donuts, monkey bread, coffee cake, and a decadent bourbon pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. Also keep in mind that happy hour at Fox Barn can be busy and noisy on nice days. But there are plenty of nooks for more intimate conversation.
Fox Barn at Twenty9
16 Great Valley Pkwy. Malvern
COST: $9–$25. ATMOSPHERE: An appealing balance of outdoor beauty and indoor energy. HOURS: 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Friday; events only on weekends. ATTIRE: Business casual. EXTRAS: The view. Happy hour 4–6 p.m.