Old Town Bistro is located in the McCrory's building in Rock Hill, SC. McCrory's was a department store founded by a Pennsylvania entrepreneur named John McCrorey. McCrory's opened its first store in Rock Hill, SC in 1918. The building became known as the "McCrory's Building." By 1960 McCrory's had begun calling its stores "McCrory's 5-10-25 cent Variety Store"
It was during this decade that McCrory's became the target for civil rights protesters in the south. Like most other retail establishments, McCrory's stores did not allow blacks to eat at their lunch counters. African-Americans could shop in the stores and purchase take-out orders, but were not allowed to sit at lunch counters and eat along with white customers. Beginning in 1960, the Rock Hill McCrory's, along iwth Woolworth's and several other
downtown establishments, was the site of several lunch counter sit-ins. Protestors from the nearby "Friendship Junior College" targeted McCrory's and Woolworth's on February 12, 1960, resulting in the lunch counters being closed for several days. The most famous of these protests occurred at McCrory's on January 31, 1961, and resulted in the "Friendship Nine" incident. These lunch counter "sit-in" protests of the early 1960s helped to change the face of American business by granting equal service to African-Americans.