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Lynbrook Dairy Barn Closing, Changing Ownership

The Barn takes over drive-thru convenience store on Hempstead Avenue.

The Dairy Barn in Lynbrook will be closing its door next week as the drive-thru convenience store on Hempstead Avenue becomes the latest location to be taken over by "The Barn."

It was more than 50 years ago that the Cosman Family opened up the first Dairy Barn on Long Island, and up until recently they operated 16 stores in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. But the Northport-based Dairy Barn has been gradually selling off its stores to The Barn.

"Eventually, every Dairy Barn will be closing. The company is exiting the business," Jon Hill, the daytime manager for the Lynbrook Dairy Barn told Patch Saturday. 

In the 38 years that Hill, 54, has worked for Dairy Barn, he spent 25 of them at the Lynbrook location and lived in the village for eight years. His staff learned that the store, which has been in business since the mid-1960s, would be closing only a few days ago. It's final day will be Oct. 27.

Although a supervisor for The Barn stopped by the Lynbrook location to give the employees -- two full-time managers and six part-time workers -- the option to continue to work at the Hempstead Avenue store under the new company, Hill said that most will probably stay with Dairy Barn.

Unlike Dairy Barn, "The Barn is a non-union job, so pay-scale and benefits are completely different," Hill said. "If the deal was better for people coming over to The Barn, they would have considered staying."

The employees who stick with Dairy Barn will be relocated to the remaining stores across Long Island. Hill, who lives in Huntington, will most likely be sent to Farmingdale, where he'll bump out the day manager who has less seniority. Lynbrook's night shift manager, Jim, will probably be moved to the Merrick store.

But with the rapid pace that Dairy Barn has been selling off its stores, Hill said, "We don't even know how long we will be at those locations."

"People are devastated. We are not happy," Hill said, adding that he will not only miss his employees but also the customers he has come to know well from working at the Lynbrook store so long. "I loved coming to work and seeing everyone," he adds.  

Since posting a countdown to the store's closing late Friday on the sign that usually lists sales on ice cream and other products, Hill and his crew have been hearing reaction from the community and their regular customers.

"They are in disbelief," he says. "The show of support and empathy from everyone has been positive reinforcement ... They don't want it to happen, but they are wishing us well."

To date, The Barn, which also describes itself as a family-owned business based on Long Island, has taken over the Dairy Barn stores in East Rockaway, Freeport, Hewlett, Kings Park, Farmingville, Babylon Village, Baldwin Harbor, Baldwin, Bellmore, Franklin Square, New Hyde Park, Bethpage, Center Moriches, East Northport, East Meadow, Massapequa, Shirley, St. James, Selden, Patchogue, Ronkonkoma, North Babylon, New Hyde Park, Lindenhurst and Kings Park.

On its Web site, The Barn makes it clear that its stores "were formerly operated as Dairy Barns, but are under new management."

Transitioning the stores from Dairy Barns to Barns has been happening very quickly. It some cases it happens in a single day and at most, the stores have been closed for about a week, according to a Barn employee at the New Hyde Park store.

The Barn actually carries more products than Dairy Barn did, he added. However, he said customers may notice that some of the names on the products, milk for example, will be different because they are being discontinued as Oaktree Dairy goes out of business. A list of products The Barn carries is attached above, under the PDF section. 

A spokesman for The Barn responded to Patch's request for comment Sunday. Click here to see what the company rep said regarding the timeline for the takeover. Dairy Barn owners were not available for comment.

Are you upset Dairy Barn is closing? Will you patronize The Barn when it opens? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

Ginny Lynch October 20, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Will be sorry to see the end of the Lynbrook Dairy Barn. I have been going there for 20 years. It was a lifesaver on many occasions, when my three youngest were all in car seats! They always enjoyed going through and seeing "the Cheerful Man" (whom we later came to know was Jon) as we picked up milk and juice. Good Luck to the employees. We will miss you.
Pat Alonge October 21, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Jon Hill's smile always brightened the day anytime I drove thru Dairy Barn!....Huge mistake of The Barn not to sweeten the pot and try to keep him on as an employee. Really...he is such an asset.... He will be missed. Dairy Barn is one of those fixtures in our landscape that one assumes would always be around....sad, sad day. Best of luck to Jon and all the other employees...They will now grace the landscape of another community!
BARBARA KELLY October 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Another example of a business that treats workers well, with decent pay and benefits, being pushed out by a non-union business.
Bernard T. Lowe October 22, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Before the cutover, the Dairy Barn in Hewlett would regularly close at 10:15pm despite their sign claiming that they close at 11pm. The Barn has stuck to their hours. whenever I've had to go there close to closing. Score one for the new guys.
Brian Rosen DDS October 22, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Jon, a friendly cheerful face, will be missed! He only knew me as " doc" but at least twice a week I was greated with a smile and kind words! Jon, you will be missed
Brenda Gio October 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Regardless of how the new store is run and staffed, there's no way that a new manager can fill Jon's shoes, or the shoes of the other full-time manager (Jim?). This is an unhappy development. Who would have ever guessed this would happen?
sue a October 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Most horrible news of the day- I definitely will not be patronizing the barn-more so of the way they treat their employees such as the choice to be in a union. Also I will never patronize Dairy Barn no matter where they are-to sell out an icon in the Lynbrook area is just terrible. I will always remember Dairy Barn for their glass bottles and no matter what time of the day-always fresh milk was available and the ability to get it with toddlers in their carseats. The staff was like family-always a smile on their face and always a thank you. Thank you Dairy Barn-you will be missed
sue a October 22, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Just awful-just awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Lisa Pop October 22, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I am so sad and issappointed. Both managers were so friendly. Jon always had a smile and kind word. Best of luck guys.
Tara Conry (Editor) October 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Here's an update on when The Barn will open up in Lynbrook: http://malverne-lynbrook.patch.com/articles/update-dairy-barn-takeover-to-begin-sunday
Neighbor October 24, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Odd that buying milk could become a community experience, but that's just what Lynbrook Dairy Barn did...and much of that great sense of "family" came from Jon Hill. He and his crew were not simply the people who sold you dairy products, they knew us and we knew them. In this day and age whenpeople's heads are always looking down at screens and phones, Dairy Barn looked you in the eye each time, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend. An era ends and they all will be sorely missed! And for that, I thank them.
Florence Turner October 25, 2012 at 03:24 AM
I am just devastated with this news...I remember Jon Hill and I believe it was his brother that worked there in the early days...and I have been going for eons, despite the fact that I now live in West Hempstead...all the guys (and a few gals) that worked there were our friends. Wishing you all the best Jon and "work family" too. Florence Turner
patricia mc givern October 25, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Will miss the Dairy Barn. Used to go there to buy New YOrk Ice Cream which also wnet out of business. Loved Ronkonoma Chocolate. Pat Mc Givern
Karen Aker October 25, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Goodbye Jon,Tip and everyone. My son worked in Lynbrook Dairy Barn over 10 years. Jon we will all miss the great conversations we had. Even when a car was patiently waiting behind us. Tip Thanksgiving will be here soon. DID YOU GET THE BIRD? Best of luck to everyone.YOU will all be missed.
Tara Conry (Editor) October 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Give Jon, Tip and the rest of the Lynbrook Dairy Barn crew a proper send-off this Saturday, the business' final day. There will be a BBQ outside the store starting at 1 p.m.
Jon A October 27, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Having worked with JH and Tip for more than 10 years, I am especially saddened by the news. They were not just my bosses, but were and always will be my friends. We shared so many good times at, and away from, work. Both of you are special people and will be missed by everyone who had the honor of meeting you over the years. Anyone who can make it, please come by the store today to see them off. Show them how much they mean to this town.

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