Comment of the Day: Still Missing the Good Ol’ Days

COMMENT OF THE DAY: STILL MISSING THE GOOD OL’ DAYS “I was born in ’91, so I never got to experience the little mom and pop stores (hardware store or otherwise). I wish I could have seen what it was like back then. :(” [WebsterResident, commenting on Amazon Will Swallow Whole Foods Whole] Photo of Martini Hardware, 7145 Lawndale St.: Andrea Rodriguez

12 Comment

  • Go to Southland Hardware, a great M&P place (in spirit if not in actuality) since 1935. Located in a high-priced area, so may not be there much longer.

  • Southland is a neat experience. The Ace Hardware up on North Main is pretty good as well.

  • Well..yeah at least in the 60s there were still corner grocery stores in most neighborhoods, which became, “convenience stores” not too much later once 7-11s, Circle K and all of those took over, plus when gas stations became self-serve (mid-70s) and they started selling food there. The corner stores were often owned by immigrant familes who lived above the store on the 2nd floor. You might get to know them or at least they would become familiar with you and vice versa. Mom would send you down there to pick up a carton of milk maybe after dark alone and no one worried much. As a kid that would be where you would buy your baseball cards (boys), penny candies, licorice. That was probably the last decade of that situation then the corporations took over somehow. Credit cards became more common all of a sudden and it all changed.
    So go to Martini’s and experience it before it’s gone. The original family still owns and runs it (since 1945) and they have a floor crew who can actually HELP you find what you need because they can help you FIGURE OUT what you need. Really..and not wanting to sound like some old crank, but buying anything in a box store is almost self service. The sales people are as likely to sell you the wrong thing as the right thing.
    I wonder sometimes if we’ll ever find a new way to revisit that sort of simple, quality living.

  • C&D Hardware on 11th. Same staff for years and they know the quirks of the neighborhood infrastructure to recommend whatever you need for your home maintenance and repair. They also carry oddball stuff at the checkout counter that also makes me spend 15-20% more than I intended when I walked in. LOL!

  • Definitely Southland’s has the experience you described. I found similar experiences at most ACE hardwares.

    Another place I like is G&G Models in Rice Village. A throwback hobby shop that’s charming and a friendly helpful staff. It’s a small shop but packed with mainly trains.

  • We always sent/received fruit baskets from Jamail’s (located where Petco is on S Shepherd). As I recall, the food selection towards the end was close to the food section at the downtown Spec’s.

  • My family owned one of the hardware stores that failed. It was a really good store. If your problem was unusual, the solution would be found or made.

    I go to Home Depot or Lowes and always miss my dad’s store.

    At Southland, I also miss it, because I see how they’ve changed and adapted to handle the market demands–it’s a great store, just not without some scars.

  • @Gisgo – Who owns Southland? I shop there all the time and have no idea. Agreed that it and C&D are very good local stores with excellent service. I shop a lot at both and it’s rare when I need to go to Lowe’s or HD, usually when I need something large and/or expensive like a power tool or a faucet.

  • @Justin Timbergrove what they might have meant is that while Southland may be locally owned/run it is a Do It Best affiliated store. Sort of like a fast food franchise but it is a cooperative and has less stringent style/management requirements for being a member.

  • I’m a happy Southland customer but how they’ve managed to escape an ADA lawsuit is beyond me. The layout effectively prohibits anyone in a scooter or wheelchair from navigating the store.

  • Tom’s Ace Hardware on Gessner, north of Long Point, looks a LOT like the TrueValue place my dad took me to back in the day.

  • G&G Model Shop isn’t a throwback, it’s a survivor. It’s been in the same location in since the 1950’s when The Village was The Village.