December 30, 2006
One of downtown Charlottesville's favorite restaurants gave their final last call on Saturday night.
Most everyone in town has either been to The Hardware Store or know someone who has been there.
Stan Epstein and his wife opened the restaurant back in 1976.
They bought the old Hardware Company on the downtown mall and turned it into what stood for thirty years as the popular restaurant and vendor stores.
"The Hardware Company was moving out and we looked at it and said this is really a gem. So we bought this building and we decided to keep up the tradition of the old hardware company which is friendliness and a place for people to come and gather," said Epstein.
The Hardware store was sold to an outside company whose final plans for the building are not set in stone yet.
But the Epstein's and their employees tell us they've been happy to serve the Charlottesville community and will miss everyone who made their store feel like home.
"We are very please to say that in these final days the community has come forth in an overwhelming manner to wish us luck on our retirement. It's been a great thirty years," said Epstein.
City Hall referred to the Hardware Store as "the Incubator".
That's because many stores that are currently on the downtown mall, got their start as vendors inside the Hardware Store.