Nearly a decade and a half ago, Melinda Powers peered through the expansive windows of the oldest commercial building on Vashon Island and where others might have seen only the empty shell of a beloved old hardware store, she saw a restaurant. Not just any restaurant, but one that would serve 'great good food', perfectly prepared and gracefully presented, the ingredients locally-sourced, organic and all-natural, hormone-free, and in many cases gluten-free — and would do so from breakfast through dinner, seven days a week.
But that was not her only objective. She wanted The Hardware Store, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to become a community gathering place that embodied the unique spirit and character of the island and the people of Vashon — relaxed, informal, welcoming, caring. Over the years, The Hardware Store also has served as a stage for island artists and musicians and a venue for special events that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for dozens of island organizations and institutions.
Today, the restaurant and event catering staff has grown to fifty devoted employees. And Melinda's vision has been made real: The Hardware Store is a place where regulars are embraced and strangers become friends, a place for friends to visit together, for milestones to be celebrated, and for all customers to feel at home.
Come and feel it for yourself!