It’s arguably Moraga’s most visible landmark. No one famous was ever shot there and the Forty Niners only brawled there from time to time, but it’s historic – for little Moraga. Even with its see-through floor and cockroaches, it had panache. Now, it boasts a LEED Platinum certification, underground cisterns, reclaimed redwood and a modern art gallery appeal – and a falling asking price.
What will become of the Moraga Barn?
The area’s most revered watering hole, which literally bore the names of locals who etched their names in its plank or bathroom walls, was preserved – to a degree – with Chris Avant’s restoration of the site back in 2013. Gone was the smell of a leaking soap dispenser, spilled Budweiser and Lysol, and the New Barn emerged in 2014 a gleaming wonder of sustainability and green design.
But who wants that, right? (Remember, we are playfully ironic here at NEWS24-680 – we want and admire modern wonders of sustainability and design). The author will confess to considering the prospect of life in a space he used to sneak into as a teen, returned to on Thanksgivings and local funerals over the intervening years – but then the author always had a thing for old buildings, saloons, and character.
The Barn’s current iteration has proved to be a hard sell. Realtors handling its sale recently announced that $500,000 had been lopped off its $1.7 million asking price, aligning the venerable old watering hole with the shiny new face with the going rate for 60’s-era ranchers with aggregate entries, avocado fixtures, and shag rugs.
Rumors about the future of the property, smack in the middle of town now but losing neighbors like the School Street post office, abound. Wild talk – again, we’re talking about Moraga here – about putting a restaurant or a wine bar in there never materialized.
Now, perhaps if we brought that old dime-slot phone booth, a hitching post, and a couple of brawling linebackers back to town we’d have something again.