Biz Beat

This chain is coming to replace a once-bustling Ripon landmark restaurant

You know that old saying, when one barn door closes, another Starbucks opens?

Well, um, close enough. The storied and ultimately sad history of Ripon’s Barnwood Restaurant building has come to its end now that it has been torn down to make way for — you guessed it — a Starbucks. The coffee shop is expected to open by May or June, according to the Ripon Planning Department. This will be the town’s second Starbucks location. The first, at Jack Tone and Colony roads, also will remain open according to a Starbucks spokeswoman.

The new Starbucks is currently under construction and the outer framing already has gone up. The 1,547-square-foot space will have indoor seating and a drive-thru. From the plans filed with the city, it is expected to be primarily a pick-up and drive-thru location so no outdoor seating has been designated. Considering how close the location is to the freeway — right off the Highway 99 exit ramps — that’s probably a wise idea.

The store is expected to have about 20 employees. No word on when hiring would start, buy you can check for future openings.

The new development closes the final chapter on the Barnwood, which was one of Ripon’s premiere dining and catering establishments for more than 30 years. Chef and owner John Mangelos opened the restaurant, situated right off the freeway, in 1980. The distinctive barn-sided building sat at its 338 E. Main St. location for 33 years and also ran a robust catering business. But then Mangelos sold it to new owners in May 2013 after a shoulder injury made it impossible for him to continue.

New owners Don Lee and Ken Hildebrand ran the place for about a year before being forced to close after being hit with an Americans With Disabilities Act discrimination lawsuit in 2014. It was among a wave of such lawsuits filed by a few private individuals up and down the valley.

The building had sat empty since. And in December it was finally razed to prepare for the coming Starbucks.