With more than 20 years of combined restaurant experience in Southwest Virginia, Logan Tiebout and his wife Kelley hope to bring new life to a Hillsville staple – the Hardware Bar & Grill.
Located at 508 North Main Street, the location has served as many things over the years, but the Hardware Company has always been the most lasting business at the location. Having opened on June 18, the Tiebouts hope to keep it that way.
“People seem to be happy we are back in the area and that this building is open again and that there is some life being breathed back into it,” said Logan Tiebout. “We are excited. It seems like we are getting a good draw and crowd from the surrounding areas. And definitely the people in this town were ready to see it back open. We are hoping to be the one that is able to stick around for a long time.”
Prior to opening the Hardware, Tiebout worked at Chateau Morrisette on the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway for 12 years. That is where he met his wife Kelley, who also worked at Chateau Morrisette for eight years. The Hardware’s head chef, Ann Christian, also worked there as a pastry chef and more recently at the Country Store in Floyd.
“We had some friends that brought us to the area and showed us this building. We loved the idea behind it and how it was a hardware company before. We thought we could really play off of that,” Tiebout said. “We liked the hardware theme and thought it would be good to offer a nice place for people to eat around here. We noticed there is a lot of fast food, a lot of Mexican and pizza, but there wasn’t a real nice American-style cuisine where you could get a nice steak or seafood. We kind of saw a little niche for us and it seemed like people in the area wanted to see this place back open.”
The Hardware Bar & Grill’s lunch menu is themed after an actual hardware store. If burgers are you thing, there is the Sledge Hammer (house ground beef burger with cheddar cheese and crispy bacon). There is also the Tool B(e)LT – a hickory smoked BLT with an herb aioli – and the Wheel Barrel (thinly sliced yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant and tomatoes topped with mozzarella and a balsamic drizzle). There this is the Pitch Fork (a slow cooked BBQ sandwich) and the Anvil (cashew chicken salad served on a croissant).
There are usually different specials at different times, but dinner fare includes shrimp and grits, surf and turf, London broil, Hardware Pasta, and crab quiche.
“People really seem to be enjoying everything. Our head chef makes just wonderful food, the best desserts to homemade pie crusts,” Tiebout said. “She also does the quiche, and the shrimp and grits has been one of our most popular dishes.”
The lunch menu is lighter fare, Tiebout said, so it’s a little more casual and can appeal to people who would like business lunches. Dinner will have more of a fine dining feel so that you can have a sit-down meal with more steaks and seafood, he said. There also different soups and salads, including a salmon salad at certain times. The most important thing is the restaurant wants to keep its menu fresh and seasonal.
“We get a lot of our meat from Floyd at Slaughters. They do a lot of local-sourced meat and that way we can run specials and keep things fresh and seasonal,” Tiebout said. “They always have the catch of the day, so whatever fresh we get in off the ship sent to us.”
Once the Hardware Bar & Grill has its official grand opening, Tiebout said he plans to have more specials and items such as prime rib on Friday nights. Eventually he hopes to add a Sunday brunch buffet with carved prime rib and several sides, salads and soups.
“That is something we are excited about once we get going a little more,” he said. “There are salads and appetizers. We will add a bar menu as well so if you want to come in a little later at night and just watch a game, have a beer, have some nice bar food, we will have more options as far as that goes.”
The bar upstairs features six varieties of beer on tap. There are a couple of mainstays you would expect to see, but the bar will also fluctuate through a variety of craft beers.
“We will always have one tap designated to having a nice local craft beer coming on such as Devil’s Backbone or Sweetwater or Star Hill, some of these nice local places that aren’t too far away,” Tiebout said.
Currently, the Hardware is open Thursday through Sunday from 12-3 p.m. for lunch and from 5-8 p.m. for dinner. The bar menu will be available soon from 8-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and as permitted on Sundays, Tiebout said.
“It is a family restaurant with my wife and our little girl, but we still cater to those who want to have a good time and watch a game. We will have three TVs upstairs with different channels, so we have the potential for three different games,” he said.
Tiebout believes what will make the difference for the new restaurant is both he and his wife are hard workers. You might see him prepping food one day, serving tables the next and working on accounting another.
“We are doing all facets of the business and we are hands on, so we are hoping that makes the difference for us. We have hired around 13 to 14 people, so we are bringing that to the community as well,” Tiebout said. “We are offering a really nice place to sit down and have a good meal. We want to make it a nice spot and a special destination to hopefully bring some more people to this side of town. We want to keep it really nice and have that wonderful classy feel to it, but not be something that is going to break your budget every weekend. Once we get it going we will have a few more steak options like a ribeye or a sirloin to where it is not just a filet or broil. You can get a nice steak for less. We want to be here for a long time.”
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN