Amish Acres re-branding to “The Barns at Nappanee”

Amish Acres will now be known as "The Barns at Nappanee." (Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw)

It will still be known as the “Home of Amish Acres,” but the popular tourist attraction in Nappanee will be taking it’s name in a brand new direction.

“The Barns at Nappanee” was revealed during a press conference on Wednesday morning in the lobby of the Round Barn Theatre.

Marlin Stutzman, one of the owners and partners who purchased the theatre and restaurant, opened the press conference by revealing the new name of the property. “Amish Acres has such a great history. How do we honor the legacy of Amish Acres that’s here, but how do we also look toward the future and continue to be a spotlight that people want to come and be here?”

The name incorporates the “Home of Amish Acres,” and Stutzman explained that between between the different places on the property and the center piece being the Round Barn Theatre, the new brand encompasses everything that Amish Acres has become, but giving it the fresh name and look.

Jason Bontrager, another owner and partner, said that the property was one that fits the similar interests and morals of him, Stutzman and the third partner and owner, John Kruse, and they wanted to invest into something of “high, refined quality.” “We felt that this property exemplified that. We want to help businesses remained owned in Indiana. We are focused on keeping businesses local (and private),” Bontrager went on to say.

Nappanee Mayor Phil Jenkins spoke and said that the city was concerned at first when Amish Acres went up for sale and it started as a challenge, but said approaching challenges such as this turn into an opportunity. “I think this is another example of those opportunities that we pull up our bootstraps, we got the people that are local and that have an interest in this property. You can’t go through Indiana without saying Nappanee and not say Amish Acres. We can’t be more happy for the new owners and look forward to working with them.”

The Round Barn Theatre will continue to put on and bring in a multitude of shows, starting Easter weekend with a production called “Acts: The Three Man Show,” which will be done by three man in a fast paced show based on the New Testament book of Acts. The first show will begin on Friday, April 10th, which is Good Friday.

LaSalle Hospitality Group, based in South Bend which operates The LaSalle Grill, will be in charge of the restaurant and catering operations. Marc McDonnell, who is the CEO of the restaurant group, spoke and said they are excited to be part of the new chapter of The Barns at Nappanee.

“I’ve long wanted to become part of Elkhart County and I’m very excited about the possibilities down in Nappanee. I am very impressed by the (local businesses) in town, the traffic flow (along US 6). We plan to offer some of the traditional menu items that made Amish Acres famous, along with updated items that fall somewhere between what we offer in South Bend and what we’ll offer here.”

McDonnell also revealed that they will convert part of the dining area in the barn into a restaurant that will be called LaSalle Farm to Table. He said the name of the restaurant emcompasses, “the nature of location and proximity to farms in the area.”

McDonnell mentioned that the restaurant plans to make use of as many local ingredients as possible via a menu that will change seasonally.

More information will be coming via The Barns at Nappanee Facebook page and their website with general information, events and other announcements in the coming weeks.

You can watch the press conference in it’s entirety on the News Now Warsaw Facebook page here.