SACKETS HARBOR — The Barracks Inn in the Madison Barracks reopened this month with new flair under a new owner.
Kim Tyler, a veteran restaurateur who previously operated eateries in Ogdensburg and Miami, said she purchased the restaurant, 42 Pike Road, to re-enter the industry she left to raise a family, which includes five children.
Afternoon tea with finger sandwiches and petit fours, or bite-sized desserts; catering for weddings and private parties, charcuterie boards with Italian meats, made-to-order “mother sauces” like Hollandaise and Espagnole, housemade bread, ketogenic diet-friendly meals, 15 colorful desserts, high-class steak and fresh seafood entrées are among Mrs. Tyler’s offerings.
The restaurant opened July 9 for regular hours following a grand opening celebration on July 5 that Mrs. Tyler said drew a few hundred people. Her catering service, she said, has also taken off, with her having booked three weddings, two baby showers, three post-elopement parties and five anniversary celebrations as of July 21.
“I actually live to eat; I don’t eat to live,” she said. “Food is my passion.”
The Barracks Inn was closed for summer season last year when former manager Candace J. “Candy” Lawler was unable to renew the lease.
Before considering the Pike Road restaurant, Mrs. Tyler said she had been in negotiations with Andrew Hanzlian to purchase Tin Pan Galley, but that fell through. A friend then informed her about the sale of the Barracks Inn, and discussions with former owner Leo R. Coleman Jr., principal of Fairgrounds Inn Inc., kicked off in December. She closed on the purchase of the restaurant on July 1. One menu item, a 24-ounce tomahawk rib-eye steak called Big Daddy, is named after Mr. Coleman, who first opened the Barracks Inn in 1981.
Mrs. Tyler said she also spent four and a half months renovating the about 4,000-square-foot restaurant, including replacing overhead lights in the dining room with chandeliers, rebuilding the entryway, improving the docks, installing new equipment, updating the bathrooms and replacing the doors. She also brought in new furniture.
“It’s just a beautiful location and I really love being on the water and I really want to turn it into a wedding venue or private party venue,” she said.
The restaurant employs 33 workers, including a couple of Mrs. Tyler’s children, but she hopes to hire a few more, particularly experienced kitchen staff, a bartender, or hostess.
“She’s been cooking for us at home, and every time I’ve told her ‘You should open another restaurant,’” said Mary Tyler, Mrs. Tyler’s daughter who works at the eatery.
The restaurant, which offers lunch and dinner, will close for the season at the end of September, but Mrs. Tyler will offer catering services at it all year.
“This is only the beginning,” she said.