Nisticos Say: “Red Barn Will Be Here Another 30 Years”

The Red Barn parking lot was full at lunch today.

It often is. The restaurant — so beautiful, so rustic, so easy to reach for anyone coming from anywhere on the Merritt — has been a Westport landmark since perhaps before there was a parkway.

The Nistico family — owners of the beloved Arrow restaurant, a couple of miles south in Saugatuck — took over the Red Barn in 1983. They lovingly restored it, and have made their mark there over the past 3 decades. No time is more special than the holidays.

But rumors swirling through Westport had the restaurant on a death watch. Published reports indicated a foreclosure auction was set for Saturday.

“That was just a speed bump,” co-owner Richard Nistico said this afternoon. “We took care of everything. Can you please let everyone know we’ll be here another 30 years?”


Red Barn restaurant




20 responses to “Nisticos Say: “Red Barn Will Be Here Another 30 Years”

  1. Holly Wheeler

    Yaaay. Now if they’d only resurrect The Arrow !!!

  2. Adam Schwartz '75

    I grew up not to far from The Red Barn but the closest I ever got to the dining room was the cigarette machine as you open the front door. Very convenient when you’re 14 years old! Anyways, a few years ago I was in the area on business and decided to eat there for the first time in my life. What a disappointment. I thought The Red Barn was a upper echelon eating establishment but I guess that time was long ago. When I first read this story and the fact there was a rumor it was on death watch, it didn’t surprise me. I hope for the sake of Westport that the Nistico Family does something about the interior, and more importantly, the food. One of the worst meals I’ve had in 30 years! And that includes 4 years in the military eating Vietnam era C-Rations…

  3. Maureen O'Driscoll

    Such good news!

  4. I am very happy to hear the good news (and I had no idea there were any possible financial problems). There’s almost always a good-sized crowd when we go there–and my mom still enjoys going there when she comes back to Westport. Wishing the Nistico family all the best for the holiday season,

  5. Jill Nash von Schmidt

    I still remember “mama” Nistico making meatballs at the Arrow. I would love to have a plate of ziti & meatballs again! I’m glad Nistico’s will still be around for awhile. 😊

  6. Wanda Tedesco

    Good to know!

    • Ellen Wentworth

      Thank goodness I just discovered the new bar any friends and I enjoy our Happy Hours on Fridays!

  7. Sandra Wagenfeld

    OF COURSE the Red Barn will be around for a long, long time. It’s the kind of organic part of the fabric of Westport that just needs to remain vital!

  8. We love The Red Barn and especially the Nistico’s. Had our rehearsal
    dinner there many moons ago and it is our favorite place for special family dinners. Food and service is always the very best. Thanks for posting this Dan!

  9. Their personalized service has not changed in 30 years, and the Sunday brunch is still the best in New England!

  10. NEVER had a bad meal at Nistico’s Red Barn–Quite to the contrary the food and service are always top notch!! Filet mignon or Lamb cooked to perfection preceded by some delicious blue point oysters on the half shell and always made to feel right at home !! My mouth is watering as I think about it– To all the Nisticos their dedicated staff and especially John Delius in the kitchen –HIP HIP Hooray !! Hope you stay forever–Sincerely Martin O’Grady–

  11. I have been visiting the Red Barn ever since they opened.
    And have held many Business Lunches there over the years and have NEVER been disappointed in the food or the service !!!!

  12. Karen Gilbertie Roche

    Grew up a Gilbertie. My father Mike and my ‘ Uncles’ Louie and Frank – dinners on Sundays with my grandma at the Arriow! The best memories ever and been making them at the Red Barn since the Arrow closed! They always treated my parents like royalty! Glad to hear they are not going anywhere!

  13. The Nistico family, like the Ed Mitchell Family, and a handful of others, are Westport institutions and represent the best of Westport for the past many years. These 2 families have given so much back to the town of Westport and all of us who have lived here for decades in endless ways. It’s families such as the Nistico’s that represent the essential fabric, chromosomes and DNA that make a town great. My mom (she’ll kill me if I tell her age but she’s lived in the same Westport house since 1959 so you do the math ) loves the Red Barn as her favorite eating establishment in town. I would suggest to all who are in ear shot of Dan Woog’s 06880 to go back to your roots and visit the Red Barn and support this great family as they have supported the town of Westport for endless years
    Tom Mccann

  14. Hugh F McCann Jr

    The Nistico family has given so much back to Westport. Tom McCann has expressed our collective appreciation.
    Adam, please revisit the Red Barn when you are in town again. I am sure you will enjoy the service and food. The McCann brothers will pick up the tab!
    Hugh F McCann Jr
    Class of 1967

  15. McCann’s – The O’Gradys will chip in too. Can’t imagine Westport without The Red Barn and the Nistico’s.

  16. David Drabaski

    Arrow/ Red Barn Great Food. Great Family Red Barn a landmark that should stay around longer than 30 years Good Wishes Cap Dave ⚓ MOE

  17. My husband and I were regulars at the Arrow – he proposed to me in one of the booths, At the Red Barn, along with regular weekly dinners over the years our family has also celebrated major events: a wedding, birthdays, anniversaries. All of which were a huge success thanks to the Nistico family and the wonderful staff at the Red Barn. We wouldn’t go anywhere
    Janet Beasley