Popular pizza barn, wedding venue in Northfield completely destroyed by possible tornado

The east side of Northfield was hit very hard.
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A possible tornado completely leveled a popular pizza place in Northfield on Thursday. 

Red Barn Farm, located on the southeast side of Northfield, went from standing as a go-to hangout for pizza and music fans to a pile of rubble in a matter of minutes as a tornado-warned storm blasted through the area around 7 p.m.

"My family was under the barn when it was destroyed and I am so thankful everyone is physically okay," said Sarah Slinger on a GoFundMe page for venue

"The amount of damage to the property and the emotional damage to my family is however catastrophic. This beautiful barn was my family’s only source of income, their entire livelihood and future. Their property is leveled, meaning their new commercial kitchen is also gone along with numerous other buildings."

The National Weather Service is doing damage assessments on Friday and hopes to provide preliminary information about what type of storm caused the damage, but the level of destruction has Northfield's Chief of Police Monte Nelson convinced it was a twister. 

"It sure looked like a tornado to me [around Northfield]," Nelson told NorthfieldNews.com. "Whether it was straight line winds or a tornado, it doesn’t really matter, because everything is totaled."

Slinger says her family put everything they had into morphing a 100-year-old rustic barn into a "nationally known" wedding venue and "hot spot" for made-to-order wood-fired pizzas. 

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In 2015, Explore Minnesota named Red Barn Farm as one of the three premier "pizza farms" in the state

Weddings at Red Barn Farm are booked out nearly two years, Slinger said. 

There were six reports of tornadoes in southern Minnesota on Thursday, with one suspected near Granada and others on a line from Waterville to Faribault to Randolph to Cannon Falls. 

Gallery: Storms leave path of destruction in Minnesota

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