Downtown’s newest social spot and retail store combines the aesthetics and feel of Hanford’s past and future.
The Works, located at 118 and 120 W. 6th St., will celebrate its grand opening at 10 a.m. Friday with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“One side will be used for meetings, bridal showers and birthday parties while the other side will be completely retail,” said store owner Kirsten Smith.
Smith said that The Works is a fitting title for the establishment, which is a work in progress, as she sees the business changing and evolving over time.
Offerings on the retail side include home décor, gifts, women’s and children’s clothing while the other side of the business — literally and figuratively — offers a beautiful downtown spot for social gatherings.
Wedding receptions, business meetings and other events are already being booked, Smith said.
The venue sits 40-50 guests comfortably.
Smith has owned and operated Hanford businesses prior to opening The Works, including a candy shop, Divinity Boutique and the Rusted Ranch.
Looking for a new retail space to be the spiritual successor to the Rusted Ranch, Smith found the perfect spot at The Works, formerly known as The Art Works. Previously operated by landlord Steve Banister, The Art Works closed in 2008, leaving the historic storefront shuttered for nearly 15 years.
Smith said that Banister was gracious enough to lend a few decorations, antiques and art pieces from The Art Works for use in The Works. These items, she said, will strike up instant memories for any Hanfordite that had visited previously. Some of the items include a vintage art deco sign for The Hanford Salon, an oversized Pepsi ad from Fenway Park and even Banister’s father’s vintage steel safe that looks like it’s straight out of a train heist Western.
“I know that there was a great following for this place so to come in and recreate it but still also keep some of the beautiful signs and art pieces, it was just great that he [Banister] let me keep that,” Smith said.
Starting work in March on renovations, Smith as well as former Porches co-owner Grady Harp, who is assisting with the store’s design and decoration, have done a tremendous amount of work in little time.
Modern graffiti on the wall serves as a backdrop for an antique statue of a Greek soldier, who watches over signs and antiques of Hanford’s past. The juxtaposition of old and new, rustic and vibrant is striking.
A collapsed utility building in the back has been removed to make way for a patio area, and a space formerly used as a kitchen now serves as a catering hub and makeshift bar area. Some of the building’s original brick walls have been exposed to provide an anachronistic, yet relaxing vibe.
That vibe is perfect for those wanting a little pampering, as a masseuse has set up shop in one of the smaller rooms and will have regular hours as well as appointment times.
While The Works won’t serve food, local caterers will be on hand most days, including the Wicked Waffle and other local foodie-favorites.
Along with The Works, the semi-newly-opened Deli Caliva Dispensary and a new tattoo parlor, the historic block of West 6th is turning into a bustling block that is extending the cultural reach of downtown Hanford. It includes Hanford’s oldest eatery, The Star Diner, and Ideal Furniture Gallery.
As such, The Works will also participate in this year’s Witch’s Night Out event, hosted annually by Main Street Hanford. Main Street Hanford has also given the business a façade grant to install a fence around the back patio.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with longer hours Fridays, to be announced.