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The Barn Closed Due To 'Mismanagement,' Says Partner

One co-owner says he's hopeful to reopen the bar, which closed on Sunday, within a month.

Patrons have been guessing and rumors have been swirling since The Barn, a popular Carney live music venue, crab house and bar, closed its doors Sunday night and hung signs that said simply "closed until further notice."

Now one co-owner of the Harford Road restaurant has told Patch that financial mismangement on the part of a partner left The Barn LLC in terrible shape.

Paul Wisner, one of the operating partners who relaunched the bar in 2005, said that the closure wasn't a matter of a bad economy or slow business.

"It was never a matter of not having the customers—it was a matter of sheer mismanagement over a year or 16 months," Wisner said.

Wisner became involved as an operating partner in The Barn when the restaurant relaunched in 2005 and remained on in that capacity until 2007 when he became and investment partner, and later in 2009 a creditor to the bar.

"About a year ago, I guess, one of the operating partners got burnt out—he stopped caring, the employees weren't happy," Wisner said. "About 90 days go I went back in and tried to figure this out."

Wisner explained that the partner responsible for the mismanagement of The Barn has since been asked to leave, but that the LLC for the restaurant was in terrible shape.

"I'm looking to get a new investor who can come in and help us restructure, remodel and reopen," Wisner said.

He explained he'd like to renovate both the up and the downstairs areas, and potentially work out a new menu.

"My ideal timeline to do all that would be about a month," Wisner said. "Someone could come back in here and probably open the place back up in about three days, but to get done what I want to get done it should take a month."

So far, Wisner said he's talked to at least six parties interested in The Barn but that nothing concrete is in place yet.

"I would think that there will still be live music, we'll still do crabs," Wisner said.

He said that patrons of The Barn should continue to watch the Facebook page, which he manages and where he will publish updates as he has them.

Were you a regular at The Barn? Were you sad to see it close? What do you think could be done better when the restaurant reopens? Tell us in the comments.

C. J. September 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Yes, it's true that the crabs are great but the service suck. I was a regular, went every week. If it wasn't for the great crabs, I would never go back. I've never felt this way about a restaurant in my life. Even management didn't do to much about the poor service. You can see and feel the attitude all around. I am not a manager but I could run the place better than that.
Joseph Norman November 02, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Tom S - presumably the bar was loosing money or else it wouldn't have closed. Are you suggesting that the business be run into bankruptcy so that the servers can keep getting their tips? Then where do they work once the bar goes under? Seems to me that the correct way to handle that would be to close temporarily, and then open back up as a sustainable business so that the employees can come back to jobs at a stable company. It isn't the owners' responsibility to provide jobs, especially if they are loosing money...Its got to be a win-win for employer and employee. So what in your mind doesn't pass the "smell test"?
Joseph Norman November 02, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Presumably the bar was loosing money or else it wouldn't have closed. Are you suggesting that the business be run into bankruptcy so that the servers can keep getting their tips? Then where do they work once the bar goes under? Seems to me that the correct way to handle that would be to close temporarily, and then open back up as a sustainable business so that the employees can come back to jobs at a stable company. It isn't the owners' responsibility to provide jobs, especially if they are loosing money...Its got to be a win-win for employer and employee. So what in your mind doesn't pass the "smell test"?
Neil B November 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
The owners would have done anything to keep the place open. They were super upset at what happened to the employees. 2 of the 3 partners didn't know how bad things were, when they found out it was too late. Things were too far in the hole to climb back out bankruptcy was the only out.
Lexa Newman March 23, 2013 at 07:46 PM
I just drove by The Barn - looks like workers are working hard to renovate the patio/deck area - any ideas when they will reopen?

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