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Auburn City Steakhouse Dining Room view through a window


Auburn City Steakhouse

The Hardware Store

Auburn, Indiana

For 155 years, The Hardware Store was a space for community engagement. It was the stop in-between home and work, where community members could pick up goods, see familiar faces, meet new friends, and always feel welcome. When MKM was tasked with its renovation and reuse, our goal was to enhance the store’s existing character and social magic, while transforming the function of the space from hardware store to restaurant. As you walk into the new Auburn City Steakhouse, the supply counter has been renovated into a deli and waiting area for the restaurant. The entrance flows into the main dining room, which continues to private dining toward the rear of the first floor.

The second floor includes a lounge space, banquet dining room, and the ‘Davis and James Lounge’ bar. The basement, originally oil and dynamite storage, features private wine lockers surrounded by exposed concrete and stone walls. The building’s industrial-aged freight elevator, oak stairs, brick walls, tin ceilings, and wooden floors have all been restored to their original beauty. Small wooden parts drawers have been repurposed as decor. Antique cash registers, a weigh scale, and the well-known ‘Auburn City Hardware’ sign were relocated as points of interest throughout the restaurant. All of these treasures are illuminated by the natural daylight of the large, original windows in the North-facing 8th Street façade.

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