Our History.... The building that Farwood Bar & Grill occupies today was reportedly built in 1916 as a gentleman's bar called The Richelieu. It was a very popular social venue for the town's businessmen to quench their thirst and conduct business. The safe that is restored and displayed in Farwood was used to hold merchants' money on weekends to be transferred to the bank on Monday. The history of the beautifully carved oak bar in Farwood is well known to area residents. It was made in England, shipped around Cape Horn at the south end of South America, and functioned as a bar in San Francisco for an unknown number of years. In 1916, it was barged up the Sacramento River to be installed in the Richelieu and has remained there ever since. When Bob & Jan Walker purchased the building in 2005, the Richelieu was no longer in business. Their decision to purchase the property was based primarily on the existence of the bar. At the time, it was coal black (from over a hundred years of cigarette smoke), and was in need of repair. When renovations began on the building, the bar was taken apart, as much as was possible, and transferred to a shop on the Walkers' farm. It spent the winter there being stripped and sanded, and then lovingly repaired by local wood craftsman, Bob Nordbye. He also extended the front bar portion and crafted a handicapped bar to exactly match the beautiful bowed front of the original. He made molds of the cherubs' heads to repair the one cherub who had been decapitated, and it is sometimes a matter of discussion to see if former Richelieu patrons can remember which cherub it was that needed repair.
Farwood opened its doors for business in August of 2006. Leigh Ann Byerly came to Farwood to 'temporarily' manage the restaurant for her friends, the Walkers, in April 2008. It soon became obvious that Leigh Ann's love for food and hospitality was a good match for Farwood. She had spent over 25 years in the restaurant and catering business prior to joining the staff at Farwood. In November 2008, Leigh Ann and her husband, Jim Byerly, purchased Farwood Bar & Grill. Jim is a teacher for Glenn County Office of Education at the juvenile hall in Red Bluff. The couple lives in Orland and has three sons.