PHOTOPHILE- Bolting: Hardware store serves final pickle

After serving customers from Texas to Taiwan to Three Notched Road for over 30 years, Stan and Marilyn Epstein closed the doors to the Hardware Store Restaurant for the last time on December 30th.

They are retiring from the aptly named restaurant which was once an actual hardware store circa 1865. Evelyn Byerly from Richmond, for instance, recalls returning some wedding gifts at the actual hardware store in 1953.

 "We're really disappointed" says longtime customer Michael Cressin. "It's part of our life."

The restaurant, so popular with tourists that it earned a special motorcoach loading zone on Water Street, served condiments in a "toolbox" and had what may have been the biggest pickle bar in the South.

I hung around the last night to try and capture some of the last eats at the historical restaurant. For more on this icon of the restaurant scene, turn to "The Dish" on page 56.


Peter and Ann Schare flank Michael and Anne Cressin for one last meal at the restaurant after being 20-year regulars

(clockwise from left): Jeremy, Olivia, Scheri, and Noah Mills, and Dave Hutson.

Joedy and Joyce Smith and John and Evelyn Byerly from Richmond.

Stan Epstein and longtime friend Robin Joslin reminisce

One of the last meals