BROOKVILLE — A ribbon cutting held last Thursday marked the completion of the remodelling done at Barrel 55 by owners Jackie Torkeo and Brenda Stelika.
Though the restaurant has been making a name for itself in town since 2018, the final touches were finished with the completion of the deck seating area. Torkeo and Stelika were thrilled to finally have the ribbon cutting for the business they’ve worked so hard for in the last two years.
“We had multiple phases of remodeling, that’s why we’re doing it now. The deck was the last phase,” Stelika said.
The deck was something the two had always talked about, but made the final decision when they began siding the building. The project was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions.
The two had first opened a bakery on Main Street called Loafin’ Bakery. Torkeo spent most of her time running the bakery while the remodeling began on the building that would be their restaurant.
“We were looking for a place to bake and this was for sale, and because it was a bar/restaurant, we knew they were producing food there, so we could easily bake up here. And it came with the liquor license so we said ‘why not?’ We’ve never run a restaurant or bar before,” Stelika said.
“Brenda’s always wanted to have a food establishment. The bakery was kind of the next best thing, but it wasn’t really what she always wanted to do,” Torkeo said.
Torkeo and Stelika had a cafe/bakery in Lower Burrell for seven years before moving to the area. Their hope for Barrel 55 BBR is for it to become the place people say, “you’ve got to go.”
“When we opened the bakery downtown, it was supposed to be like our satellite location, but we just loved it. We were very welcomed, very supported, and just love the whole community,” Torkeo said.
Stelika’s grandparents had a camp near Brookville, and her family would vacation at the State Park. She later attended Clarion University. She said she feels like she’s indirectly from the area, even if she didn’t live here.
“This area, they’ve treated us well. Both of us are on the Chamber of Commerce Board, and we’re all for supporting business and helping this area grow,” Stelika said.
The restaurant is located on West Main Street, across from Sheetz in the old Forest Way building. They regularly post the specials and events on the Facebook page Barrel 55 bbr.