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We're opening a restaurant!!

Posted by Chrystal Axelsson on

We're opening a restaurant!!

Yes!! You read that correctly! Toni and I are opening our very own restaurant, Old Barn Kitchen! We found the most adorable little town in California with the best name ever! Paradise! Seriously, we are so excited but exhausted! We have been making some much needed changes to the building both inside and out and I've been documenting this on Instagram! You can see in my story highlights under OBK Reno. 

The first thing that I had to change was the exterior color of the building. When we came to see the restaurant it was raw galvanized metal, and a pea green color... Not exactly appealing or inviting! My first instinct was to go dark, really dark, then I thought of what everyone else is doing and decided to paint the building white with white trim. As you can see, I stuck with my first instinct and painted it this gorgeous charcoal color! I'm in LOVE! It reminds me of the gorgeous homes and building I fell in love with in Iceland, it also stands out and looks SO good! 

We have removed the awning over the front window, and are building a wood frame awning with a painted, galvanized roof. It's going to compliment the front of the restaurant and tie in our Old Barn vibe!


We are also building our sign that will go on the roof, but I want to share some of our interior changes with you! We changed up the floor plan just a little bit to make it more efficient as a restaurant, before it was set up more like a deli, with minimal seating and a lot of employee zones! For our concept, the focus is on the customer and the dining room. We used this gorgeous coca-cola sign I found at an antique store as a partition between the dining room and the kitchen, flanked it with blackboards for specials, and I stained the beams in our Reclaimed stain! 


I've received a lot of questions about our shiplap walls. We used 4x8 plywood siding sheets from Home Depot. I figured this would make the job go quite a bit quicker, as well as We put up vertical shiplap to tie in the vertical siding on the exterior of the building, we also made this decision because pitch of the roof on the inside would have left us with this janky triangle piece at the top and that would have bothered me endlessly. I don't think my OCD could handle horizontal shiplap interior when the entire exterior is vertical, and that weird triangle at the pitch of the roof would have been enough to put me over the edge! LOL  

Gosh, reading all that, brings tears to my eyes. We were so busy I was never able to finish this blog post. We finished work on OBK and immediately opened, we became the most popular spot in town, and 7 weeks later Paradise burned to the ground... 

 I set out to find a second location knowing that although our building thankfully survived the fire, we wont be opening for some time. There is a major issue with the water in the town as well as not having any gas to the building. Below are some photos of our building, the first during and the rest, after the fire. 



We found a second location for OBK in Chico and have started renovations on this, hoping to open the beginning of February. I can see from all of my excitement above, that this time, it's just not here. I'm stressed and concerned for us, and everyone in out community. Here we are 2 months later and it's looking bleaker by the day. At this point I tell myself, "look on the bright side! Stop being so negative!" I'll admit, it's really hard. I try, and it seems like life just continues to want to knock me down. After so much work and finally watching Toni live his and our dream, it's disheartening. 



Anyways! I'm pushing forward, looking up, not down, I'll get through this like I have everything else life has thrown my way. It hard right now, but I know one day, looking back we will be amazed at ourselves for not just sitting down and giving up on our dreams. 




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    wnlHTqdRsEmcVef on

  • We just had breakfast at the Chico location this past Friday morning and it was EXCELLENT! The Eggs Benedict was seriously the best I’ve ever had. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to go back Sunday. Keep up the good work and we can’t wait to return!

    Lynda Gizzi on

  • My husband and I have walked by your new location several times and are very excited for you to open. Your menu sounds delicious and I’m sure you will be just as popular here as you were in paradise. I’m so sorry for all you’ve lost but Chico is a great community and I know families like mine are going to appreciate the comfortable and kid friendly atmosphere. Hang in there.

    Shelby knudsen on

  • I can’t imagine what it must be like to see your dream restaurant sitting idle after all your work, to worry about your employees who lost their homes, and to see the community you had just adopted as your own lost almost entirely to flames, its members scattered.

    You probably tell yourself that you are one of the lucky ones, you didn’t live there, you didn’t lose your home and everything in it. Maybe at times you chide yourself for feeling blue when others lost so much more, including loved ones.

    But you have been through so much and have good reason to be stressed, sad worried. Years ago I was going through some medical problems, scary for me then as a mom with little children. I was feeling scared and sad. Trying to make me feel better, a friend kept telling me stories about others she knew with worse problems. I didn’t feel better, I just added quilt to my feelings since there were people whose problems were much worse. But my sister told me in plain and simple language “Just because others have worse problems, doesn’t make yours suck any less.”

    Not eloquent, and not a reason to quit moving forward, just a reminder to not feel quilty, if you ever do, about your own feelings and worries.

    I started following you because of the beautiful milk paint and stains you have created, but after a while I also followed you to read your stories. I’m looking forward to reading about your journey and I pray opening your new restaurant will be successful and that you will be able to find your "excitement " again.

    Sorry about the long reply, your post struck a cord in me.

    I’m in Rocklin, about an hour and a half away from Chico so I hope to come to your new restaurant when you open!

    Sharon on

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