Subscribe to our Newsletter!
First & Green Event Venue - TravelStorys

Grenada Downtown

Location Trip Time Travel Type
Mississippi 1 hour

First & Green Event Venue

The stately brick building you see here was formerly known as Grenada Hardware, it was built in 1867 to take advantage of the post-Civil War building boom. It was owned by the Doak family until the mid-1940s, when the Boone family bought it, hoping to benefit from the building activity that followed World War II. Stories about Grenada Hardware abound. Many locals worked there, got their first bikes there, got stuck on the elevator—or stranded others on it. In 1918, legend has it that the doors were left unlocked so folks looking for shovels to bury those who died from the Spanish Flu could get what they needed. Looking back at their memories of running the store, longtime owners Joe and Katie Boone were proud of the credit policies they followed decades ago. Katie believed Grenada Hardware was the first white-owned business in town to extend credit to Black folks. Joe said that they simply treated all customers the same way. Perhaps as a result, they were one of a tiny number of white-owned businesses not to be boycotted by the Black community during the turbulent 1960s. In the early 2000s, as retail businesses moved toward the interstate, the hardware store was replaced by a restaurant and catering hall. The building was, however, falling down due to decades of poor maintenance. Like the rest of the downtown area, it was all but abandoned by 2013. That's the year when Deborah Bailey purchased it. She completed a top-to-bottom renovation two years later with substantial assistance from state and federal historic tax credits. She added a state-of-the art commercial kitchen and three luxury loft apartments upstairs. The original character of the building was maintained—and even restored in some instances. When the dropped-acoustic tile ceiling was removed, not only was the original bead-board ceiling uncovered, but so were the ceiling fans (Hunter Originals made in Memphis), as well as the hanging ladders used to slide along in front of the shelves to access items stored too high to reach. The floor was rotten and termite-ridden. Underneath, however, the heavy heart pine floor joists were pristine, as apparently termites do not like pine pitch. The 12-by-3-inch joists were removed and milled to create planks, which were then put back down as the new floor. The original hand-cranked elevator was left in place. As an interesting architectural tidbit, note the pole outside the diagonal entrance. A similar feature was unearthed when another building on this tour, the Square View at First & Main, was renovated, and also when Bailey restored the building diagonally across the Square from there, at 42 South Main Street. We do not know the significance of these corner entrances, but they may have provided a certain unity to the buildings and a unique shared signature. Bailey is delighted that this building, now known as First & Green, is in great demand as a wedding and celebration venue today. She claims every baby born to a couple who celebrated their wedding at First & Green as her own. She now has a very large brood!

Want to hear more of Grenada Downtown? Download the TravelStorys app using the buttons below!

Download this tour to your phone