Customers Fondly Remember Union County Eatery

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LEWIS TOWNSHIP -- A popular family restaurant in Union County was destroyed by fire Wednesday night.

Customers say The Barnyard was known for its buffets and fish.  Many have fond memories of the place.

There is not much left of The Barnyard restaurant near Mifflinburg. Smoke and flames destroyed the popular family restaurant Wednesday night in Union County.

"It's a devastating fire, there's no doubt.  A lot of loss, but thankfully no life lost," said Steve Walter of the Mifflinburg Fire Department.

Firefighters believe it started in a vent as four employees were cleaning up for the night.  Flames spread quickly, destroying the restaurant that has been in Union County since the 1970s.

"I remember years ago when it was Yoder's, the different names and different things.  Over the years I've been here different times," said Matt Shirk of Middleburg.

"Two to three times a week for breakfast all the time," said Steve Hackenberg of Millmont. "Breakfast was excellent here."

Some customers tell Newswatch 16 the Barnyard had the best buffet around.  Others say they will miss going there on Friday nights for the fish.

"The service was great.  It was just a nice place to come and relax on a Friday night and get something to eat.  It's just a shame.  I hate to see it go actually," Hackenberg said.

The owner of The Barnyard has not decided whether he will rebuild the restaurant.  Many of his customers hope he does.

"A lot of memories, it was a good place to eat.  It was my favorite place to eat," Hackenberg added.

The owner says around 25 employees worked at The Barnyard.

A state police fire marshal believes the fire was not suspicious.