HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – When you buy a business, you never know what you might find, especially when that previous business was a bank.
The owners of a soon-to-open coffee shop found something they didn’t expect behind a wall.
Unfortunately, what they found wasn’t exactly the treasure trove they had hoped for.
The Buckroe Coffee Co. will hopefully be open by July 1, but there’s a lot of work to do.
Co-owner David Spring and his business partner John Napier met us at the site at 1936 E. Pembroke Avenue.
“We put Buckroe Beach on the map,” Spring told us, touting the worldwide audience. “Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and in England they stayed up to 4 in the morning to see us open the vault.”
They uncovered the past by finding keys in a bank depository box.
“We had to get it open, we opened it up, and we found keys and a dead bird,” Spring said. “There was still more stuff to discover.”
They would uncover the bulletproof tellers’ window that was also behind drywall, and then they moved to a bathroom near the back of the 2,400-square-foot office space.
“I was looking at this wall in the bathroom,” Spring said, “and I am banging on the wall. What is behind this?”
Based on the seams of the drywall, Spring knew there were too many seams of drywall for the length of the wall, suggesting there may be a door in the middle of the wall.
Spring was right.
You could seem him live on Instagram.
“This is the wall we found here,” Spring said. “We dug out a hole, and the safe lever was there. … I could tell from the shadow in the wall.”
It would take untold hours to open the vault door because it was rusted shut, but when the door was finally open, it still needed an inside nudge from Spring the locksmith.
Spring is seen on Instagram crawling through the small hole that will get him on the inside of the vault.
“O.K. I’m heading in,” Spring said.
Moments later, you can see Spring with his foot based against the door frame and pulling the vault door open.
“OK, pull from the outside. All right, whoa. Take a picture of that,” Spring said.
Spring is now on the inside of the vault.
“So we came in, and I came back here, and we found this safe where we were hoping the treasure was,” Spring said, “but unfortunately there were just merely rubber bands, where money had once been.”
But alas, what they found was not what they wanted to find.
Inside the vault, a toaster, a computer from 1992, stamps worth 11 cents in 1992 and antiquated bottles. There was a lot of other stuff – of little value.
But online, there was a huge success, with 4.2 million viewers from around the world. We asked Spring what his experience on the internet meant.
“Well, it tells me people what to be connected,” Spring said, “part of the adventure, and they want to be part of something, and that is what we want to serve here at Buckroe Coffee Co.”