Owner making a push to bring back Delafield 'Smiley Face Barn' off I-94

Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-11 12:47:12-04

After more than a decade, the Smiley Face Barn that greeted drivers on I-94 in Delafield may be coming back. 

The Dick Smith's Bait & Tackle shop has sat underneath the barn all these years. While the barn will change owners, the bait and tackle shop will stay put.  

Co-owner Mike Smith says the smile has been gone for nearly 16 years, but anyone would agree that smile was contagious. 

"It was always a heartwarming thing for people to drive past in the morning and see the smile on the barn," said Smith. 

Bob Ingle has been coming to the barn since 1979 for one thing or another and says that smile is a Delafield staple.  

"It'd be more important for the community and people driving by, because everybody related to that sign," said Ingle. 

The current barn owners sell Amish furniture and Jane Winter is an avid customer. She's happy that the smile will come back, but she isn't thrilled about the change in stores. The Smiley Barn will become a candy and toy store starting this August. 

The barn's new owner, Maria Luther, says kids need to detach from electronic games and just play. 

"What could be more perfect than to create a toy and candy store inside the smiley barn," said Luther. 

But a big hurdle for Luther to overcome is putting the smile back up. Delafield's Plan Commission says the smile doesn't fit the city's building and zoning codes. Unfortunately, it's just too big.

In order for the smile even be considered an option, Luther has to convince the city that the community wants the smile back up.

She's already started a Facebook Page: The Smiley Barn, where she's looking for support. Luther will also put a petition in the store for signatures.