Little Barn, Big Welcome

An alert “06880” reader — and grateful parent — writes:

Like many local businesses, Little Barn gets hit up for lots of good causes. Donate a gift card to a fundraiser? Buy an ad in a program book? Sponsor a team?

Owners Scott Beck and Kevin McHugh always say “sure!”

But the pair go way beyond donations. They’ve made their casual, friendly Post Road restaurant — formerly Dairy Queen, then Woody’s and Swanky Frank’s — what those other places never were: a “Cheers”-like home-away-from-home, where everyone feels welcome any time, and everybody knows your name. (And your kid’s name.)

Enter here for the Little Barn.

Some of their most devoted customers are Staples High School sports teams.

Take last fall’s freshman football squad. The heart of the squad has been together since 4th grade. Parents formed bonds as tight as the players. They all celebrated together after every game.

Many places viewed the enthusiastic group as an intrusion. Little Barn embraced them.

After the final game of the year — when the 9th graders finished undefeated — parent Miki Scarfo warned the restaurant that this gathering would be particularly large.

“Can’t wait to see you!” they said.

Players and siblings filled the back. Parents hung out in front. The varsity coaches and captains arrived, surprising the freshmen. It was organic, free-form and fun — a snapshot from another part of America, perhaps.

A small part of a large Little Barn gathering.

The rugby and wrestling teams have made Little Barn their own too. It’s where coaches, parents and athletes gather before and after competitions; where their booster clubs meet; wherever anyone goes at a random moment, knowing they’ll be welcome.

Little Barn’s support of Staples goes beyond sports.

Some restaurants with live entertainment hire adult musicians. Little Barn gives student bands a shot. The same parents who meet up for athletes pack the place, supporting the teenagers.

How does everyone know to go? When a gathering takes place, parents often send out texts. A group assembles in minutes. They call it “flashing the bat signal.”

Little Barn owner Scott Beck likes the “bat signal” idea so much, his marketing team created this graphic for it.

Little Barn sounds like a throwback to a different era.

But the “bat signal” texts are all about 2019.

Dairy Queen has sure come a long way.

10 responses to “Little Barn, Big Welcome

  1. Bobbi Essagof

    And don’t forget the 2018 election night gathering for Senator Will Haskell. The crowd extended into the parking lot and it was a joyous, loud and late celebration!

  2. Did you mean “Barn Signal”?!

  3. Kathleen Fazio

    Whenever there is a reason to celebrate, everyone knows where to go. Scott’s support of this town, our sports teams and our kids (and in my case my nephews!) has been unwavering. Thanks Scott for all you do!

  4. That’s not what a bat looks like! That’s an owl. What’s with an owl, they’re the wreckers and always will be, esp now….house wreckers, mini mansion builders..four per acre

  5. We’ll call it Square Dancing…4 square and seven years ago…
    I’m your next first? Poetess lariat….good luck, you’ll need it !!!🤣 🤗. 😋 😉 🤡. 😇🤠 🤓

  6. Rebecca Wolin

    When did everyone stop going to the Black Duck

  7. Caryl Beatus


  8. Bob Weingarten

    When doing an article for Greens Farms Living magazine, published this month, on “Old Glory” I remembered a painting of a flag on the back of the barn. I looked again at it and it had 15 stars and 15 strips. Many of you may think this is an error or just artwork but from 1795 to 1818 when two more states were added to the Union bringing the total to 15 states, the congress said the new flag would have 15 stars and 15 strips.

    When five more states were added in 1818, the congress, apparently, decided that stars should be added but not more strips. So the reverted to the current 13 strips, one for each of the original colonies but added a star for each new state.

    I haved asked the management at the barn why they had this flag configuration on the back outside wall and nobody responded. So if you know, please let me know and if you want a copy of the article, also let me know at

  9. Audrey Hertzel

    Little Barn is a great Westport restaurant — wide selection of delicious food, awesome margaritas (two of my favs are watermelon and pineapple!) and their staff is one of the friendliest in town.