A Last Hurrah for a Local Icon
Change is inevitable but somehow it seemed the Kitty Hawk Winks was immune to that. Through 65 years it remained open at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and the Beach Road, the perfect beach town convenience store, dispensing food, sandwiches, tee-shirts and cheap souvenirs in equal measure.
Change, evidently has finally caught up with the icon to beach living and Thanksgiving Weekend will be the store’s last hurrah.
It’s been a pretty remarkable run—as the rest of the world seemed to get more modern, Winks seemed to settle into its role as a remainder of what vacation and beach life was all about..
The store never closed. Even Hurricane Sandy, which flooded the interior and floated away the gas tanks for the grill, couldn’t stop the store from opening. One day of cleanup and the doors were unlocked, the owners noting that if they were closed, their neighbors with damaged cars would have no way for them to get the necessities they needed.
Tentative plans call for the building to be torn down and houses built on the lot. Nothing is final until construction begins, but those are the plans.
If that does happen—and it probably will—it will break up a wonderful little strip of buildings in Kitty Hawk that hearken back to the 1950s and 60s. Winds, was at one time the anchor for a small commercial district that was the center of the towns resort community.
Across the street was Virginia Dare Hardware that opened in 1948, now the restaurant Ocean Boulevard. Next door is Art’s place, still the go to spot for breakfast and lunch along the beach road.
Perhaps, then, swing by Winks, snap a picture of the building and if it’s still open, by a little something to remember it by and say goodbye.
There are stories everywhere on the Outer Banks. Spend some time with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and learn about the real life on a sandbar.