Musings: Talk about Hank’s

The demolition of Hank’s Place on Friday, Dec. 8 was truly an historic event for the Chadds Ford Village as well as the greater Chadds Ford area. Hank’s had been a part of the community for more than 70 years, 73-75 years depending on who you talk to.

A reader commented on Chadds Ford Live’s Facebook page that the Hank’s Place regulars should share their stories about the restaurant. That’s a great idea. Those tales can be funny, sad, poignant, silly, or whatever memories you have, and Chadds Ford Live will be happy to publish them. I’ll start with a couple of shorties.

I’m not a native “Fordian,” but I’ve been covering the area for 22 years now, having been hired in September of 2001 to be the founding editor of the old Chadds Ford Post, a physical weekly newspaper. The editor of the Kennett Paper said there were several people to whom I should introduce myself. Voula Skiadas was one of those people. She and her husband Peter owned the restaurant at the time.

I walked into Hank’s one morning, met Voula, and introduced myself saying there was going to be a newspaper that would cover Chadds Ford. She bought me breakfast.

A few years later, Chadds Ford Township was negotiating with Toll Bros. to build a sewage treatment plant at Turners Mill to bring public sewers to the village. For the Skiadases, that was important. The restaurant had been on a septic system, and they relied on pump and haul to treat waste, an expensive method for them. From the time the idea was announced until it came to fruition, Peter Skiadas would say the same words whenever he saw me. “Hello, my friend. When will I get my sewer?”

Peter and Voula sold the restaurant to Anthony and Katie Young in 2017. As the local reporter, I interviewed the new owners, specifically Anthony Young who told me his story.

Long before buying Hank’s, he liked going there for breakfast. He’d sit at the counter and he developed a casual friendship with another man who would also eat at the counter. The man introduced himself as Andy, and that’s as far as it went. Turns out, it was Andy Wyeth.

When Emily Myers and I started Chadds Ford Live we would have weekly “staff” meetings at Hank’s until the COVID lockdown. But we survived the lockdown and so did Hank’s Place. Then came the flood. Anthony and Katie survived but the physical restaurant didn’t.

The building came down more than two years after the flood, and the crunching of the demolition shovel ripping through the walls of the old restaurant reminded me that all things come to an end. But things can be rebuilt, and that’s what will happen with Hank’s Place. A new building will go up and a new generation will frequent the place where friendly people meet, and hungry people eat.

What’s your favorite Hank’s story? Please share by sending them to

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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