CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Veronica Hashey tended bar and served tables in some of Charleston's finest restaurants for 20 years before she switched her efforts to the other side of counter.
She opened 5 Corners Cafe in 2011, where she mans the kitchen preparing creative deli sandwiches, gourmet burgers, fresh salads, daily specials, soups and stuffed potatoes. Add a changing dinner special to the menu, and you have one of the few dine-in evening spots on Charleston's West Side.
5 Corners Cafe is located on the intersection of Central and Delaware avenues and Virginia Street West in the spot formerly occupied by Neighbor Mart. "This is something I've always wanted to do. We saw the space available, I decided to open here. We all live on the West Side," she said of her staff.
Your last name doesn't have to be Hashey to work at 5 Corners Cafe , but two of the four employees do bear that moniker. Her brother Frank Hashey cooks and father Mike Hashey shops, delivers and runs errands. Husband Mark Snodgrass helps when he's not deployed as a senior master sergeant with the West Virginia National Guard. He'll assume a place in the rotation soon, having just returned from Kuwait .
There's also the gregarious front man and baker Clifton Crow, who worked in many of the same restaurants as Hashey before he helped Hashey start up 5 Corners Cafe. They've worked at Laury's, Bridge Road Bistro, South Hills Market and Cafe, Chop House and Fazio's.
The fine dining atmosphere at most of those establishments differs from the cozy 28-seat dining room decorated with the oversized wooden fork and spoon set, tile trivets and mushroom motif emblematic of the 1970s. Meals are served on colorful vintage Melmac plastic plates.
"I always wanted to have a sandwich shop," Hashey said. "I like the hustle and bustle of the lunch crowd."
Crow greets the customers as they pick a place to sit, and then squats beside their tables to rattle off detailed descriptions of the daily specials or anything on the menu. "Today's special is a turkey cranberry croissant. We grill the croissant, then spread a blend of cream cheese, orange marmalade and pecans on it, top it with turkey, Swiss, lettuce, tomato and a cranberry spread," he quickly intones, then described the daily soup (gazpacho) and quiche option.
Other popular sandwiches include the Cornelia, homemade chicken salad on a croissant, Galley's Italian of salami, pepperoni and ham, banana peppers on a baked hoagie, The Jackson, hot corned beef and pastrami on toasted rye and Grace's Grilled Cheese Caprese, a three-cheese version topped with fresh basil, tomato slices and a balsamic drizzle. Sandwich prices range from $5 to $7.
"It wouldn't be enough for me to serve ham and cheese sandwiches," Hassey said of her creative menu. "We spend a lot of time with our noses in 'Gourmet' and 'Bon Appetite.' We play ideas off each other."
The one-third pound Angus burgers are offered with the expected toppings as well as a smoked gouda cheese, caramelized onion and horseradish mayonnaise version or pimento cheeseburger. Hassey roasts the dry rubbed pork she uses for pulled pork barbecue for 12 hours. Chicken and tuna salads are made daily.