The reshuffling at Barnyard in Venice is happening sooner rather than later. Following the not-so-secret reveal that the farm to table spot was actively seeking someone to run the back of house, the immediate question became: Where's Jesse Barber? Nowhere to be found after Sunday, is the answer. Though he may be well provisioned for the next chapter of his life.
A tipster passes along word that, following Sunday's dinner service, Barber (who ownership says had already given notice) decided it would be his last time on the line inside the restaurant. Surprisingly, the entire staff agreed, and followed Barber out the door. The tipster calls the whole thing a "blow up," but that part's unconfirmed.
There's also still a rumor swirling around that some of the staff allegedly made off with bottles of expensive wine from the restaurant, as a bit of an unannounced parting gift. Yikes.
For now, Barnyard is closed (minus a couple of private events that had previously been scheduled at the space). Reached for comment, ownership is adamant that Barnyard does have plans to reopen — they even have a new chef lined up — but will take the transition time to spruce up the place and prepare it for a hopefully fruitful life post-Jesse Barber.
Speaking of which: anyone seen the former Tasting Kitchen chef recently?
Update: Barber is alive! Per Facebook:
The real shame is the staff members who were caught in the crossfire and the customers who had a reservation this week. I am truly sorry to see this happen in such a way.