Project Spotlight: The Rough House – A Restaurant Refresh

The walls of The Rough House are rich with a historical heritage captured in black and white, telling stories of a day gone by one frame at a time.

Situated among the shops on the historical square of Abbeville, SC, The Rough House is the popular restaurant and pool hall famous in the town for its hot dogs and classic 1930's flare. Darrow Kay is now only the third owner of the restaurant since its establishment in 1932. When Darrow became owner of the restaurant three years ago, many of the locals who had grown up going to The Rough House feared that he would do away with the old pictures and signs covering the walls and would replace the antique furnishings. Darrow assured them this was not the case.


He has a vision to keep the long-lasting tradition of The Rough House alive, but after 87 years of daily use, some renovations are just unavoidable. As floor boards become soft and surfaces are timeworn, cosmetic updates to the interior of the building become necessary to maintain proper functionality standards and to foster a safe environment for both the customers and employees. In addition, business for The Rough House is steadily growing, creating a need for more readily available storage and surface area for food preparation.


Zach Bailey, one of Stoll Industries’ wall panel system designers, stepped in to help design a wall system that would be fitting for the functionality of the kitchen while maintaining the historical integrity of the building’s interior. While deciding on the changes to be made, Darrow was careful to consider the opinions of each of his employees, realizing that those who work in the space every day may have a better idea than his own.

The team landed on a vertical patterned wall panel system with a bronzed iron finish accented with a textured black floating shelf complete with LED recessed lights on the underside of the shelf. Accompanying the update to the wall is a new cooler with a stainless steel countertop surface. The scars on the walls from decades of high heat and moisture were stripped away and replaced with the new durable metal panels to help ensure the restaurant’s long-lasting existence.


What makes The Rough House truly special is the friendships that are formed and experienced here. It is a place where people come to see and talk about the pictures of their uncles and grandfathers who played mill league baseball. It is a place where coworkers go to relax and unwind from a long week at work. It is a place where families come to share time over a meal or milkshake. There is something for everyone at The Rough House.


At Stoll Industries we value the opportunity to work alongside and partner with local businesses, especially when they are in our hometown. Not only do Stoll employees enjoy eating at The Rough House, we also appreciate the rich Abbeville history it represents. The team at Stoll Industries is excited to support Darrow and his efforts to preserve the heritage and experience of The Rough House. We are grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this project.

The kitchen renovation is complete and a new custom wooden sign hangs above the framed black and white photographs, but the history remains undisturbed. Darrow's updates and personal touches just continue to build on the legacy that has long since existed at The Rough House.