/ PaperCity Magazine

Iconic Houston Store That Opened in 1940 Toasts 80 Years in Style — This Bering’s Party Had It All

he swankiest “hardware” store we’ve ever seen pulled out the stops for an 80th anniversary celebration that offered not only knife skill classes and free barber treatments but also flowing margaritas and catering served in to-go boxes. Bering’s on Westheimer was a jubilant scene of shopping and reminiscing as Augie Bering and his wife, Mia, welcomed fans, friends and family.

The setting was a far cry from the original Bering family business — Bering Lumber Company — founded by August C. Bering Jr. in 1940. Twelve years later, August C. Bering III moved the lumber business to 6102 Westheimer, which is today the location of the flagship store. Over the years, Bering’s expanded its purview from lumber and hardware to include much more.

Under the tutelage of current CEO August (Augie) Bering V, the business of screw drivers, shovels and plumbing parts has expanded to include a gift shop, stationery, a children’s department and the popular Men’s Shop and features the most sophisticated hardware setup imaginable.

Think shiny floors, careful organization, beautiful displays and knowledgeable, helpful staff.

The throng meandered through the aisles of garden decor, power tools, grilles and through the elegant gift salon where the collection of Christmas ornaments, candles and wedding gifts never fails to delight. Over in the annex, The Man Shop featuring a classic, old school barber’s chair offered free hot-towel, straight razor shaves while in stationery personalized holiday cards were the hot item. In between the two, the adorable children’s clothing had mothers and grandmothers alike pulling out their credit cards.

“We had customers of all ages, from 85 to just months old in a stroller. We had families coming with five children to enjoy the day,” Mary Margaret Pizzitola tells PaperCity. “The parents enjoyed margaritas and the kids enjoyed KICPOPS! We had recently married couples who came to pick up the last of their wedding gifts, and then stayed to enjoy the festivities. It was so lovely to see all stages of life enjoying our event.”

So popular was the Knife Skills Classes that both sessions, taught under a tent in the back parking lot, sold out. We can’t say that Jo’s Mini Mobile Bar sold out of the margaritas, but it was certainly the most popular spot of the day. Keeping the pandemic in mind, rather than have passed hors d’oeuvres, the Bering’s team tapped Lemond Kitchen prepare to-go boxes of tasty treats for all visitors.

Even without the to-go boxes, visitors were able to grab a flavorful cuppa joe at the coffee bar, where there are more than 60 varieties, and pick up a collection of handmade chocolate delicacies and other sweet treats.

And no one forgot their masks.

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