BOSTON (CBS) — When a restaurant looks this cool from the outside–it’s in an old barn–it’s a pretty safe bet there’s going to be a whole lot of great food on the inside, and that’s exactly what’s on the menu at The Loft.

This North Andover institution has been serving up comfort food since long before it was trendy, and after almost forty years in business, owner Jim Dietz and his son Jim Jr. say customers still pack the place looking for that same hearty fare they know and love.

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A burger from The Loft.

“Steaks, chops, comfort food, that’s what you’re going to get here at the Loft,” says Jim. “Sandwiches, burgers, everything’s big, everything’s bold, everything’s comfortable.”

“So with our menu, we’re looking to keep it classic American with some unique twists to it,” says Jim Jr. “We always look at how we can serve traditional food in new ways.”

A steak from The Loft. (WBZ-TV)

So while the steaks, burgers, and mac and cheese are all familiar, they’re anything but boring.

“You gotta find ways to give your customers something that they can’t do it home,” Jim Jr. says.

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The Loft’s lobster mac and cheese. (WBZ-TV)

And in terms of atmosphere, The Loft is certainly special. The building itself was a working barn for more than a century–and even though it’s been recently renovated, the dining room still retains plenty of rustic charm.

“You see corrugated metal on the wall, the mason jar lights are repurposed,” says Jim. “Got a big square bar that people love, they can talk across that everybody can see everybody.”

Custom mason jar lighting at The Loft in North Andover. (WBZ-TV)

“We went with reclaimed wood for the tables, mahogany bar,” Jim Jr. says. “And then if you go in the back room, nice vaulted ceilings, nice loft room, everything keep in tradition with what a classic American barn would be.”

“When people come into The Loft, I want to give them the whole experience,” Jim says. “I want them to walk away feeling like they’ve had something special in the menu, they’ve seen something special in the building itself, and also how fresh and clean looks because the renovation.”

“I want my customers to leave feeling ‘hey, we just had a great meal, we had great service, it’s an awesome place to be and we just can’t wait to come back’,” Jim Jr. said.

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