A young man has a plan to revive a 121-year-old building known as the Farmer’s Inn.
Brandon Carrillo is working to reopen the Farmer’s Inn Restaurant and Bar at 7157 Illinois 158 south of Millstadt in May.
“People have a certain emotional attachment to this building,” Carrillo said. “They want to be back inside this building. A lot of people grew up coming here. They remember being here as kids, and their grandparents have a lot of stories.”
The stately, two-story brick building was built in 1896 and has been home to a dance hall, saloon, general store and multiple restaurants, including a Mariachi’s Mexican restaurant that was partly owned by Carrillo’s father, Edgar Carrillo, but closed several years ago.
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People have a certain emotional attachment to this building. They want to be back inside this building.
Brandon Carrillo, 23, grew up in the restaurant industry and said he’s ready to try his hand at establishing a restaurant. He will operate the Farmer’s Inn and be a co-owner with his father and Martinez.
He currently manages the Mariachi’s in Millstadt, which is one of three metro-east Mariachi’s owned by Edgar Carrillo and his partner, Alejandro Martinez. The other Mariachi’s are in Belleville and Maryville.
Carrillo is still finalizing the Farmer’s Inn menu with a chef consultant but generally describes it as featuring American cuisine.
“It’s going to have a very nice presentation to it,” Carrillo said. “It’s not just your old, run-of-the-mill bar food.”
One menu item he plans will be a brown sugar pork chop topped with a mushroom-bourbon glaze.
“I think a lot of people are really going to love that,” Carrillo said.
Really we’re just trying to hit it out of the park right out of the gate.
Carrillo will lease the building, and he said the property owners have repaired the septic tank problems that previously occurred at the site.
He is awaiting delivery of new kitchen equipment before the Farmer’s Inn can open.
Carrillo, who has posted updates on the restaurant’s Facebook page, said he will not “rush” the opening.
“Really we’re just trying to hit it out of the park right out of the gate.”