How South Lake Union Got its Own Hardware Store

(Marc Gimbel, owner) was living in Belltown at the time, having moved to Seattle from the east coast via Vancouver Island. He had been working on the island for 14 months, and fell in love with the natural beauty of the PNW, so decided to settle in Seattle.

While living in the core of the city, he found it odd there was no neighborhood hardware store for city dwellers – You had to get in a car and leave the city center for anything hardware-related. He thought a smaller, neighborhood-style store – one focused on its local community with products and services that would meet theneeds of urbanites like himself – could fill an important void in Seattle’s urban culture. Theindependent hardware store, like many small businesses, had fallen victim to the spread of themega-corporations, the Home Depots and Walmarts, and he felt it was time to bring back to Seattle’s city core a locally-owned and operated small business.
He contacted Ace Hardware, a national cooperative of independently-owned hardware stores,to see if they’d be interested in supporting a store in Seattle’s urban center. Through discussionthey became excited about the idea, so Marc began looking for a suitable location. As luck wouldhave it, Kaufer’s Books placed a “for lease” sign on their building at 901 Harrison St (the currentlocation) within the first few days of his search. After a few brief weeks of negotiation, he agreedto a lease and the ball was rolling. That was May 2007, and just 4 months later, on Sep 24, CityHardware opened for it’s first day of business.
While the timing might not have been terrific (the recognized start of the current recession wasDec 2007), the support from the community has been. Many fondly remember the old CrawfordWaggie Ace Hardware store on 3rd and Bell, which closed its doors several years earlier, and have been delighted to have their own store back in the neighborhood.



This September City Hardware will celebrate the start of their 4th year. And they look forward to manyyears as Seattle’s only neighborhood hardware store in the city core.



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