Liquor sales in Hiram may have gotten their start in the downtown area.
Jimmy Lee Smith ran the Hiram Liquor Store on Main Street, where Teacups & Cupcakes now is located.
“That’s how Hiram got its start in the liquor business,” said Hiram resident Kathy Bookout, who with her husband Bob own the tea room building and the building next door that houses Remembering the Painting Studio.
The structures may have been built in the early 1900s, as a straight-sided Coca-Cola bottle bearing the name Villa Rica Bottling Company from that time period was found in the cellar.
“Probably when they were building the building, one of the workers was drinking that and threw it in the dirt,” Bookout said.
Over the years, the split building housed Bud Hammond’s drug store, mercantile store with a blacksmith shop out back run by Sam Brooks and Albert Smith’s electrical supply business there. In addition, Corbet Summers, Simon Hill, Paul Hardy and Jimmy Lee Smith all had barber shops in the building; it also housed ABC Awning, which was started by Joe Westbrook. A doctor’s office also at one point was located where Teacups & Cupcakes now is, and Bookout said she found old medicine vials in the backyard.
A third building once stood where the parking lot now is. That building was torn down when Jimmy Lee Smith opened his liquor store and a drive-thru was installed. That drive-thru has since been taken down and is now a back door.
Besides tearing down one building and adding the drive-thru, very little else has been changed, Bookout said. The building still has its original molding, and some of the doors are original. Glass in the picture window had to be replaced, but the windows themselves are original.
“Where the paint studio is, all of that is original,” Bookout said. “The only thing we did, we had to bring it up to code with heating, air and electrical.”
A scene in the movie Footloose was filmed at the building.