Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Barrel: A Tradition In North Iowa

OK~ There's something to be said about that "one" restaurant that you always take your kids to through the years. When our boys were growing up we spent a lot of time boating, fishing and water skiing on Clear Lake in North Iowa. One of our favorite places to dine was The Barrel.

Fast forward several years and it becomes news that The Barrel may close and sell out to Casey's. Casey's, an Iowa based company, happens to be right next door to this historic eatery in Clear Lake, Iowa. I think it's fair to say that folks in North Iowa are tired of historic buildings, eateries and the like being sold out to corporate America. When word spread that this was even a possibility, people in the community really became interested!

I had to think to myself, "When was the last time I had eaten at The Barrel?" Turns out, I had just eaten there the Thursday before. I stopped there before I headed to Thursdays on Main in Downtown Clear Lake, Iowa. I wanted some broasted chicken- as it is THE BEST broasted chicken on the planet. I love my 2 wing dinner that I love to indulge in when I dine at The Barrel. Toss in the classic Barrel French Dressing and ice cream for dessert, my mouth is now watering!

I am excited as the community here in North Iowa is stepping up to the plate to keep a piece of history alive in North Iowa. The historic Surf Ballroom is just a block from The Barrel, and we all know that The Surf Ballroom is where Buddy Holly held his last performance.

The Barrel came to life in 1958 and it was the place to be and continues to be a popular destination restaurant. Sadly, the building and the kitchen are in need of desperate repair. Seth Thackery, the owner, does not want to sell out to corporate America. His dream is to keep this part of Clear Lake's history alive and strong! If you'd like to learn more about The Barrel, reach out to Seth at 641-357-2600, he'd love to share historical photos with you and more!

An application to Robert Irvine's Food Network Show, Restaurant Impossible has been placed and Seth Thackery has been interviewed by the team of the show. We now wait and see what happens. How cool would it be to have the crew of Restaurant Impossible in North Iowa? The thought of really placing Clear Lake, Iowa on a map excites me! From the historic Surf Ballroom to The Barrel- we've got a lot to showcase to the world, right here in North Iowa.

So, join me and be a part of the excitement. If everyone steps up and does one small thing that they enjoy, The Barrel will continue and grow! You can volunteer through this form, Save The Barrel.Com. If painting is your thing, there's a place for you. If electric work is your thing, there's a place for you too. Whatever your specialty, you can be a part of history, by joining in to help save one of North Iowa's most famous destination restaurants.

I hope the tradition of boating on Clear Lake with The Barrel can continue for others, as our family enjoyed those years and I can honestly say that I would not trade those days for the world! After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?


  1. I love the Barrel! They have great food and the best home made root beer! I'm so glad that I got to hang out with you all there!

  2. Great post and a wonderful place to save! I have a feeling this is going to be a win win for Clear Lake even if the television gig doesn't work out.

  3. Yes, it is a win, win for the folks of North Iowa, no matter how it goes! It would be so exciting if Restaurant Impossible did pick up on it- The volunteers are ready, willing and anxious to get things rolling. The paint a thon starts Monday!

  4. I love that you have a special connection with the Barrel. You were so kind to treat us to lunch here. The chicken was as good as everyone says! I can't wait to bring some home for Jake. Now that I know how good it is, no more KFC:)


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