Why Dine at the RH Restaurant, From the Brand Formerly Called Restoration Hardware?
This is Part II in a four-part series on the history and culinary traditions of Restoration Hardware, Inc.
Restoration Hardware was founded in New Haven, Connecticut, in the late 1880s as a home furnishings store. By the turn of the century it had become a major player in a market that had already developed into the world’s largest retail business. In 1902, it had become the first large department store chain to establish a branch in Britain. In 1908, it moved to Dallas, Texas, and by the mid-1920s, its empire was headquartered in the city at that time, which was noted for its abundance of fine dining. By 1925, however, the company was undergoing some financial difficulties and in the following year it was sold to Harry H. Gray, who moved it to its current location in Dallas in 1927.
Handy, who had served as a vice president of the company since its founding, was elected president in 1928 and remained in that position for almost 30 years, until his retirement in 1950. He served as president of the company for more than 40 years, during which time it was named America’s No. 1 company three years in a row and was named the second-largest company in the United States by its stockholders. In 1950, however, Handy retired as president and the company sold its assets to the new company, founded by H. J. Heinz Company, which in turn sold its holdings to the Klock family six years later.
After the sale, the company’s headquarters were moved back to Dallas and were incorporated into the new Klock-Horn Inc. Founded in 1950, the new Klock-Horn Inc. was a subsidiary of Heinz Foodservice which acquired the company in 1968.
After the sale, Handy stayed on the company’s board of directors and also was its chairman of the executive committee. He continued to serve on the board as its chairman emeritus. By the early 1980s, Klock-Horn was the dominant player in the restaurant industry and had become a Fortune 500 company. By the 1980s, Klock-Horn was the largest privately held company in the country. It had also emerged as the leading franchise manufacturer in North America through the distribution of its franchises. Among Klock-Horn’s franchises was the flagship RH brand, established in 1925. Handy continued to