EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – After 36 years in business, Bits & Bytes owner Mary Harl is calling it a career. Friday August 19, the deli closed its doors for the final time.
“It doesn’t, it just seems like yesterday. It really does,” says Harl.
Harl joined the family business, started by her father, and has been with the downtown Evansville establishment for over three decades. She says the family developed a list of names for the business before settling on one that was sure to stand out from the shadows of the Old Courthouse.
“Our floppy disk, we already had that sandwich,” says Harl. “So we decided to do “Bits & Bytes.”
Customers like Jenny Hiam flocked to Bits and Bytes to grab one final meal. The last day in business proved to be emotional for employees and patrons.
“This is, I would say, the best around,” says Hiam. “I mean, I can’t help it. I’ve been here for over 20 years.”
Hiam says her go-to order was a vegetarian Floppy Disk and a decaf sweet tea to drink. As a repeat customer for the last 20 years, Hiam became one of the regulars while becoming more like family in the process.
“They know exactly what, when, where,” says Hiam. “They see me walking in and they start fixing it.”
That same close-knit feeling is mutual for Harl. Whether by blood or not, Harl says the family atmosphere is one thing she will miss the most.
“Working with family. And so, yeah, that has been very rewarding. And satisfying.”
Harl says the decision to retire and close up shop was a difficult one, but admits it was simply time. Harl says she does not move as fast as she once did, and plans to use retirement to travel, as well as heal physically. Bits and Bytes will hold a rummage sale on August 26 for their remaining items in the store.