Angus Barn

35.899259, -78.763541

Year built
Year(s) modified
Building Type
Can you help?
You don't need to know everything, but do you know the neighborhood?
Log in or register and you can edit this.


  The Angus Barn on Endangered Durham? For all of our Durham 'foodiness' these days, it wasn't long ago that special event dining in the Bull City meant a trip to or across the county line to the Angus Barn. Even when I first came here in 1988, the Angus Barn was one of the first and only places I heard of to go out for a special occasion.    It's also in part a rejoinder to the various restaurateurs I hear complain about insufficient foot traffic for restaurants/cafes downtown. My general response is to say "the walk-to-a-restaurant culture in Durham is about 6 months old." The other is that, if your food was any good, people would find a way to get there - as below from the Angus Barn website. We've been driving to restaurants in Durham for 50 years.   In 1959, Eure and Winston bought 50 acres of land on Highway 70 for $6,750. The pastoral setting originally believed by many to be misguided, halfway between Raleigh and Durham, proved critics wrong because it was convenient for business people who needed access to what would become Research Triangle Park and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Although it is hard to fathom today, in 1960 RDU International Airport was little more than a landing strip where fewer than 20 flights arrived and departed each day. In fact, the area where the Barn exists was so desolate that Highway 70 was merely a two-lane road with phones stationed every few miles. The Barn was built 12 years before bustling Crabtree Valley Mall existed. Thankfully guests who traveled the distance paid far less attention to the distance and much more to the memories they made.   The original restaurant seated 275 and cost approximately $200,000 to build. Who would dare extend credit of that amount to two young dreamers whose dreams far exceeded their limited assets? Acquiring the necessary capital to pay for construction challenged the young hopefuls. Bank after bank declined Eure and Winston, politely referring to their venture as “impossible” and “a poor risk.” Borrowing from every person who had a modicum of faith in them, Eure and Winston raised money. Finally in desperation, Eure turned to his father, the late North Carolina Secretary of State Thad Eure, Sr., for the majority of the capital. In good faith, the senior Eure mortgaged his home to guarantee the loan, proclaiming, “I believe in those boys!” Construction began immediately. The restaurant opened on June 28, 1960   On the morning of February 7, 1964, Eure and Winston stood powerlessly as they watched fire reduce their dreams to smoke and ash.   
02.07.64   (Courtesy <a href="">The Herald-Sun Newspaper</a>)  
02.07.64   (Courtesy <a href="">The Herald-Sun Newspaper</a>)  
02.07.64   (Courtesy <a href="">The Herald-Sun Newspaper</a>)   The partners immediately began planning the new Barn, doubling the seating capacity of the old Barn. In order to open within one year of the fire, shifts were created to rebuild around-the-clock. Teams of workers labored tirelessly to meet and beat the one-year deadline. On January 27, 1965, just eleven months after “Big Red” fell, the red double doors of the new Angus Barn swung open to welcome the public again.  
Angus Barn, 06.19.11


... back then the men's and women's rooms were not labeled but rather they had pictures of a bull and a cow. If the doors are still like that you should photograph them and submit them to the Gender Signs pool on Flickr. The "pointers/setters" dilemma is another popular confuser.

Steak so tender you can cut it with a fork. Mmmmm!

Was definitely the best place to eat in the late '60's along with Hartman's. Many fond memories including the fact that back then the men's and women's rooms were not labeled but rather they had pictures of a bull and a cow. I remember my future wife coming back to the table and asking me which door to choose!

It has been many years since I've been to the Barn to eat. I remember the first time I ate there - my husband and I were high school sweethearts and his older cousin and his wife invited us to go and they were going to treat us. We both went out and bought suits (you had to dress up to go there in those days) and what a nice experience.

The Angus Barn is my favorite steakhouse, although I haven't been in a while. It's been long gone but another favorite destination was the Village Dinner Theater. Who would have thought we would be so nastalgic about the 60's?

I've eaten there once and loved it. I remember, in the '60s, my parents and neighbors would go there on special occasions, and when they dressed up, I mean men wore jackets and ties and women even wore cocktail dresses. The '60s remind us of a more peaceful, simple time in which we were fortunate enough to grow up in.

Add new comment

Log in or register to post comments.