WAKE FOREST — B & W Hardware store has been a fixture on same corner of White Street for 65 years this month. But it wasn’t always called by its current name.
The building opened in 1945 and was operated as a grocery store until 1949, when C. H. Weston turned it into a hardware store bearing his name.
In 1986, Buddy Willis and his father-in-law C. S. “Hap” Barnes bought the business from Weston and renamed it B & W Hardware, to reflect the first letters of their last names.
Barnes passed away in March 2011 and his daughter Kathy, along with Willis, now own the store. Keeping it in the family, the Willis’ son-in-law, Joe Kimray, works with him.
On any typical day, seasoned “regulars,” can be found at the store, helping out when needed, greeting customers, giving advice and recommending contractors. Most of them aren’t paid for it, but they add a dose of local charm that gives the store a small-town feeling.
B & W’s 65th anniversary will be celebrated Saturday, July 19, with free homemade ice cream, cake and lemonade. Coca-Cola will be sold for 65 cents a bottle and popcorn will be available by the front door.
Lots of items will be on sale, and some will be given away, too.
A pocketknife, all-terrain wagon and beach cruiser bike will be given away at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively for those in the store at the time.
At 3 p.m., a drawing will be held for a White Mountain electric ice cream freezer valued at $270. Everyone who makes a $50 purchase that day will be entered to win.