What Donna Husband had in mind when she opened The Corner Shop in Bramwell, West Virginia, in October 2010, was to provide her customers with an eating experience, not just a place to go eat. To set foot in the place is a museum-like experience in itself, the building’s historical significance alone, enough to be valued and studied. You see, the little town of Bramwell has quite an fascinating, eventful history. At one time “Bramwell … [had] the largest number of millionaires per capita of any town in America” (Bramwell History Summary).
Before Donna and her husband John started renovations on the building, it still had the the bare bones left from the opulent Victorian era when it was built: meticulously constructed mahogany millwork and case goods, pristine marble countertops, and beautiful stamped tin ceilings. Needless to say, these have remained. The Corner Shop was originally The Bryant Pharmacy, established in 1892 and then rebuilt in 1910 after a town fire, and, according to Husband and the town mayor, it is said to have been the third pharmacy in the United States to sell Chanel No. 5 perfume, which indicates the prestige that this little jewel once held.
So what’s going on at the shop these days? Recently written up in the West Virginia Executive in an article entitled ” Small Town Gem: The Corner Shop,” this shop and restaurant is a must-see. I’ve got to say it’s looking first-rate, these days, too. Donna Husband is a innovative proprietor. Among the events she has initiated thus far are sock hops, Victorian tea parties, holiday-themed celebratory parties, and musical entertainment. This fall she is looking foward to trying a combination Bunco-fondue event, Bunco being a parlor dice game played in teams. Sounds like fun, huh?
A visit to the shop definitely engages one’s ability to reminisce. The shop’s nostalgic draw for many these days, however, is its connection with an era following the Victorian period: circa, 1950. It tugs at the heartstrings of many baby boomers who want to revisit their youth and share those memories with family and friends. The Husbands stock the store with a wide variety of distinctive inventory, suggestive of the circa ’50s period: toys, old tin signs, candy, and copies of signed movie star photographs abound. Also, however, Donna Husband keeps her eye on trendy items that fit into the shop’s theme; for instance, she recently returned from a buying trip to Atlanta with a collection of lovely feather jewelry that is right on-trend.
Finally, something needs to be said about the menu and its multiplicity of choices. What a great selection! In the mood for a funnel cake? They’ve got it! An old-fashioned burger with fries and a shake? Of course! How about a freshly made panini sandwich? Yep! More of the health-conscious type? What about a teriyaki turkey burger, then, or a homemade pizza with spinach and feta cheese? And the specials-of-the-day are always a nice surprise. On my most recent visit I had the special du jour, which was a Turkey Haystack, an inviting plate piled high with homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade dressing, and deep-fried turkey. Just yummy!
Well, that about wraps it up for what to expect on a visit to The Corner Shop in Bramwell. Enjoy your blast-from-the-past visit to the shop and think of me when you eat an ice cream sundae or drink a rootbeer float or an egg cream or a lemon coke or a cherry smash float or—Anyway, you get the picture.
If The Corner Shop were a song, what song would it be? Click below to see what I think, and please feel free to enter your suggestions below on the comment section. I’d like to have your input.