Monday, May 2, 2011

#182: Barnaby's

I'd hazard a guess that four out of five South Bend residents have eaten Barnaby's pizza at some point in their lives.  And yes, it's a great place to order pizza and sandwiches from, but more than that, like many other locally-owned pizza places in the area, it's an institution.  On any given night, you might spy a soccer team celebrating the end of the season, college students grabbing a cheap and filling meal, and a 80th birthday party for one of the men at the top of the senior bowling league.  I can't overstate the role Barnaby's seems to play in those daily celebrations of "the good life".

In fact, I dined at Barnaby's on the night that I replaced the address I had memorized in Kindergarten with a new one that read South Bend, IN on the third line.  On that moving day, all I wanted was some good food, fast, and a large, cold beverage.

Barnaby's did not disappoint.  The pizza is prepared South Bend-style: deep, square-cut slices (similar in depth to Chicago deep dish but with cheese aligned East Coast style) with a dense, doughy crust.  And the drinks?  For my moving partner and I, frosted mugs of root beer and beer each set us back less than $10.  If you want "pizza and beer", look no further.   The dim lighting, low ceiling, and dark wooden booths make it easy to relax and take it easy here.

Indeed, the decor legitimizes the full name featured on the sign outside: "Barnaby's Family Inn", a nod to the history of the place.  Spyridon Stratigos (owner of the old Stratigon Grille downtown...and cameo in Hoosiers and Rudy) built his family home on this site, and in 1969, his son George converted it to the Barnaby's we know now.  His son, John, has continued to own and operate the family business.

Where: 713 E. Jefferson Blvd. (across from Marigold's and Just Goods!)
When: Monday-Thursday, 11 am - 10 pm; Friday - Saturday, 11 am - 11 pm; Sunday 3 pm - 10pm
Call: 574-288-4981
Tip: It's not a "sit-down" restaurant.  Fill out a paper slip with your food order and place it at the counter.  You'll need to pick it up when your order is called.  All drink orders are taken from a different counter on the far left.
Tip: For Mishawaka residents, you might want to check out the Barnaby's on Grape Road.  Although not owned by the original family, it does feature the same menu.


  1. Barnaby's isn't a local business exactly. There are several of them in chicago as well, and perhaps elsewhere, and they all look exactly the same and aren't owned by the same people. So it's a franchise. A small franchise, but a franchise. Great food, though. Not sure why you're saying the pizza is deep... it's thinner than most delivery places, and the crust is a lovely sort of yeasty crunchy saltine cracker homage.

  2. Ah Barn-da-by's. My first Job, Toothless Glenn the night manager used to slip me pinch hits from his crusty mexi-cali brown pinch hit back behind the ovens. They've since renovated (a little) but the sausage mushroom gut-bomb is still top notch! I do believe its actually gotten darker in there, despite the glow from added TV's and the new Smoking ban.