Monday afternoon, pick-up truck after pick-up truck rolled up to what used to be a local Hardin Valley hang out.
Gray haired and in some cases no-haired men emerged to reminisce about Sims Market and Deli.
"When this building was built, it was a big thing," explains Jim Stafford. And he should know, because he remembers.
He estimates it went up about 42 years ago, when he was in his 30s.
"Workers come in and eat, there might be 25-30 workers here at noon," said Stafford. ""Like somebody's kitchen table with a bunch of people sitting around. Everybody got to know everybody."
Even after it closed two years ago, it remained a local icon.
"It's a historical land mark really," said Stafford."You hate to see old things tore down."
But after perusing the rubble Monday he says he knows it was inevitable.
"Age gets everything."
And the many of the market's biggest fans are no exception.
"Looking around that table, a lot of them aren't around anymore," said Stafford.
Contractors for Knox County Public Schools say they discovered septic system problems while building the new Hardin Valley Academy in 2006.
KPS says the building had code violations and they condemned it.
Virgil Hackworth owns the barbershop next door and knows his days on Hardin Valley Road may be numbered too.
"I'll just stay here until they tell me to to move, then I'll go ahead and retire," said Hackworth.
He'll turn 70-years-old in July. Stafford is 75. Both men say after watching more than seven decades of change, they've learned to accept it.
But growing accustomed doesn't mean forgetting.
And the scenes of friends sharing a meal at the counter top can never be reduced to rubble.