Way back in 1952, Hand's opened up for the first time on Long Beach Boulevard in Beach Haven. Countless residents have worked and shopped there, and even more tourists have stopped through to get pretty much anything. The store was basically a throwback to the old five-and-dime style of business, selling everything from clothing, furniture, tools, souvenirs, books, toys, snacks and more.

The store property was recently sold, but store manager John Tomaro said they expect to stay open into April. Until then, the store is featuring huge markdowns as "everything must go."

The SandPaper has a great anecdote from former Beach Haven Mayor Deborah Whitcraft, who worked there when she was a teen:

I worked the cash register, worked in the warehouse and stocked shelves. The women had to wear dresses and I thought that was ridiculous because I used ladders and worked the warehouse. So I had my own little protest and showed up in slacks. And they wound up changing their policy to allow us to wear pants.

Just that story alone, of a business who insists women wear dresses, invokes such a 1950s nostalgia.

The nature of business on LBI is always interesting. On one side you have all the seasonal businesses that cater to the tourists, make a ton of money during the summer, then are able to close shop during the winter. On the other side are the year-round spots that are there for residents. Without a diverse store like Hand's, locals are going to be stuck heading further out of town to shop, or stuck going online (which is probably a lot of what hurts places like Hand's in the first place).

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