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Old 09-04-2018, 01:50 AM   #1
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Where is your favorite hardware store?

I moved to Juneau, Alaska in 1980 … the same year Mount St. Helens blew. Well in the downtown area was a wonderful hardware store called 'Endicott Hardware'. It was the kind of store that never let me down no matter how obtuse my request was. As my occupation was fixing old boats and turn of the century houses … long before codes. I'd go to Endicotts's with the confidence that they would have whatever I needed. Numerous times reacting to my most radical request, the clerk would squint, scratch his head …. and tell me "yeah … I think we may have one" … follow me. Off to the very back of his store where he would open a trap door in the plank flooring, pull a chain light switch … lighting a ladder to the catacombs a secrete floor below (oh no …. the public was not allowed there) … after blowing dust and rummaging through the shelving …. he would hand me a box with the exact item that I needed …. Manufacturer's phone number in four digits maybe just two. That store never let me down no matter how obscure my request.

Hindsight is always 20 / 20 … but I sure wish I had offered to do inventory for free. Now a Tee shirt store and a diamond ring palace sits in its place all to service the cruise ship industry.

Where is your favorite hardware store?


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Old 09-04-2018, 05:42 AM   #2
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My Hardware store was just like that. "Duda Hardware". Been in business for decades. Had the same trap door, and everything was there. Some items for decades as well. His philosophy was "when three people ask for an item I stock it". Those hardware stores are now almost extinct, as is the local grocery store, local lumber yard, etc. etc., and gone with them the service, and knowledge.

I remember the smells, and the creak of the hardwood floors, hand written price tags, and hardware scales It was ran by Leroy, and his two Aunts both of which I am sure were born in their 80's and just got older from there. Personality abounded, and everyone knew your name. A sharp contrast from the hollow, cold warehouses we now shop where low price dictates, poor quality dominates, and help is hard to find.

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Old 09-04-2018, 06:46 AM   #3
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Before Home Depot and Lowes we had neighborhood hardware stores. In fact there were several downtown Baltimore that was within walking distance during my lunch hour. It was not uncommon for me to be carrying a brown bag lunch to work and carrying a brown bag and a gallon of paint to the bus stop for my trip home in the afternoon. On edit, also everything was stamped "made in USA" back then vs China imports today.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:39 AM   #4
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The old hardware stores which were family owned and are now mostly gone or have morphed into the prepackaged chains we an education in themselves. My favorite in my home town of Cedar Rapids was Kubias Hardware. No secret basement but a restricted “back room” where kids were not allowed. My dad had a good friend who was very handy. I was with him once and I learned that he was a trusted customer who could just walk back there without even asking. That was an eye opener. The other great store was in Council Bluffs. It was called Kattleman’s and was owned and operated by Rose and Sissy Kattleman, Jewish ladies who knew every nut and bolt in the store. They called every male customer babe, darling or honey. They treated you the same whether you spent a nickel or $100. It’s a shame to me to see the changes in US retailing over the past 50 or 60 years, that includes general merchandise stores, sporting goods stores, drug stores with soda fountains, dime stores and many others. To me it has not been progress.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:46 AM   #5
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Hi: StarvingHyena... We in St. Thomas On. are fortunate to have the number one rated Home Hardware Building Center in Canada. It's huge and while you may not find everything there, if you don't you won't find it anywhere!!! Alf
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:26 AM   #6
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In Calgary it was Chesney Hardware, started in the early 1900's. It had everything hardware one would ever need, and had a huge stock of older no longer manufactured parts. They became a Home Hardware store quite a ways back, but still kept a section of all the older stuff. Unfortunately they grew with the implementation of a heating division, then about 10 years ago moved to a new location and did not bring the old stock of stuff along, as I assume it was not a profitable thing at all. Too bad.

A shout out does have to go to the Home Hardware in Osoyoos, a stop for near everyone attending the rally. They stock lots of unique items that are not in the Home Hardware catalogue, and always have something new of interest every year when we go in. I dare anyone to go in there and peruse the store and not come out with something. Jasper just loves shopping in the pet department, his nose is going hard in there checking out all the treats.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:42 AM   #7
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I'm too young to have seen some of the best stores I'm sure. I'm still surprised once in a while to find a place that seems to have everything or can order it. One thing that bugs me is when I'm trying to do something custom I rarely get anyone with any patience or knowledge at the big box stores. Worst is when I ask for something and they say they don't have it...only to check for myself and find it.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:22 AM   #8
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Hardware stores.My favorite
used to be Paine Hardware in North Vancouver, these guys had everything.I would go in and ask for a 12 inch gate hook and they would have it.The place burned down one New Years Eve.
It had oiled creaky wooden floors, they sold hunting and fishing licenses, smelled good and the staff knew what you were talking about.Nowadays whenever I go to Bellingham WA, a visit to Hardware sale is always on my list.Staff very helpful, if we don't have it we will get it in for you.The business covers about a block.I bring my sons and friends there, service is outstanding.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
I rarely get anyone with any patience or knowledge at the big box stores. Worst is when I ask for something and they say they don't have it...only to check for myself and find it.
You mean like the other day in Home Depot. I was asking where I could find those blue plastic grommets for tarps. The request deteriorated into gestures and words like "blue" and "plastic" when I realized that the person in Customer Service, no less didn't understand what a tarp was.

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Old 09-04-2018, 10:42 AM   #10
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My favorite currently is online. While the old style hardware stores are fun to peruse, even they cant stock or get everything. Big box serve a purpose for common hardware items and have what I need most of the time, but unusual items forget it.
Good search skills can usually find anything online and in a few days it arrives.
Only drawback is if I have to do it today, but I find more and more that I need to do very little in a hurry.

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