The Kitty Hawk Winks has always been there. Through hurricanes, nor’easters, scorching summer days, freezing winter temperatures, it never closed. Even after Hurricane Sandy pushed two feet of water into the store, it opened the next day.
But after 65 years maybe it is time to retire and Thanksgiving Weekend will be the curtain call for this icon of the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk.
Opened in 1953, Winks never did go modern. It aways retained the look and feel of a beach community convenience store from the earlier days. It was the place you could go to get a sunscreen, milk, bread and a T-shirt…all in the same shopping excursion. The sandwich shop in the back turned out remarkably tasty treats for what, by appearance, was managing beach store.
It sits toward the south end of what was once the beachfront commercial zone of Kitty Hawk, and remnants and reminders of that time are still very much there. Next door is Art’s Place, and even with the recent addition of an outdoor deck, there is no doubt that it was part of that original strip of buildings.
Just across the street from Winks is Ocean Boulevard, beautifully restored and repurposed to one of the finest restaurants on the Outer Banks. At one time it was a hardware store.
Although nothing final has been presented, according to reports, the building will be demolished and a home or perhaps homes will be built on the property.