Tribeca Hardware is closing at the end of the summer

I know I have said this a lot lately — and I have meant it those other times too — but this is a huge loss for the neighborhood. Tribeca Hardware, which has been installed on Chambers Street for decades, is closing at the end of August. I was not able to get in touch with Steve, the owner, but learned about it on my last visit, then from my super, and then heard from several people as well.

It’s the loss of a storefront business like this that makes us less like a neighborhood and more like one that plays one on TV. Plus this was simply a really great store. The front desk was my go-to for stocking stuffers every year, not to mention anything and everything you needed to clean, fix or stick together. And the folks there were always so nice — greeting customers the minute they came in, or a minute later, when they stared vacantly at the drawers of nuts and bolts. (That’s Lloyd above and a customer who agreed to pose for me when we were all scrambling for masks.)

“This is one of the BEST hardware stores I have ever come across,” B. said when he wrote to tell me. He also said the lease was up in December. “They were knowledgeable, helpful and had an astonishing inventory for such a small place. I have gone in there looking for obscure plumbing bits and pieces and they just always seem to have them.”

Let’s hope there’s a change of minds.

 

 

 

27 Comments

  1. So sad. I met my husband there almost 20 years ago. Will miss Steve and the store.

  2. This is a sad loss for the neighborhood. Such a great store.

  3. Good golly. Is a neighborhood even a neighborhood without a hardware store? I am hardly handy, which is one of the many reasons the friendly staff here are so valuable! What a loss.

  4. This is so sad. I love this hardware store. It is a neighborhood staple. :(

  5. I spoke to the owner a couple of weeks ago and he said he needs 200 customers a day to keep it open. Between Amazon and Covid “retail is dead”. So sad.

  6. the rent is too high. plus once you buy a hammer and a screwdriver and other basic items you are set.

  7. rent was too high. plus once you buy a hammer and a screwdriver you are set

  8. this is awful! Lloyd & the others have been lifesavers so many times over the years, and they are such nice guys. Huge loss for the neighborhood. Who is the landlord and what does he think will come fill that storefront with so many other empty ones?

  9. A real loss, like are all small retail stores, to the neighborhood but, like many Tribeca people, we have left the city “for the duration” and while we are helping the economies of the Hamptons, etc we have dramatically decreased store traffic in our nabe which is too bad since the staff at Tribeca Hardware were always helpful and friendly/

  10. The other day I went into Tribeca Hardware for Goo Gone, but only the larger size was in stock. A nice staff person handed me the store’s own small bottle and said, “Use what you need and return the rest when you can.” I was tickled by the small-town trust and friendliness. This terrific store, so full of character and history, will be missed by many in our community.

  11. Say it ain’t so.

  12. I was always surprised that they lasted as long as they did with gentrified rents in the neighborhood. But they will be missed.

    • They have been there for 20+ years. We know for sure today’s prices for their products are gentrified, but it is not clear that they are not paying 10 or 20 year old rents.

      When the lease expires, old stores typically do not survive paying today’s rent and charging today’s prices esp. when their volumes and traffic remain low.

      Those low volumes and traffic were likely sustainable only when the lease was an old lease with a sub-market rent.

  13. So sorry to hear this. I’m sure the pandemic made it very difficult to stay afloat .. but I can’t help thinking that all these very high rents are affecting our community in the worst way. Our businesses are closing little by little. This is obviously not regular times but the high rents do not help at all. Will stores ever come back? We lost do many small businesses and of course in the small store fronts that’s all who can fit in them. Small Businesses with the odds against them. Smaller towns protect their stores and restaurants. But we are victims of our own making here very often. I wish Steve luck. Maybe some good turn of events can keep our nabe businesses here and thriving…

  14. This is sad to hear! They were my go to for all sorts of things and always helped with advice to buy what was truly needed. Everything a hardware store should be!

  15. So sad. 19 years I have been a patron. They are one of the best stores I have ever shopped at. Period.

  16. i am so sad. what’ll i do without you?

  17. I will miss Tribeca Hardware. It was my go to place for everything I needed to make small repairs in the building’s I manage. There is no question that high rents make it extremely difficult for small shops to make it here.
    Let’s understand why retail store rents are so high. There are two major causes:
    1. Rapidly escalating real estate taxes. Under this mayor, real estate taxes have increased by over 50%. Real estate taxes now cover 47% of the City’s ever expanding deBlasio budget.
    2. Residential rent freezes. Under this mayor, rent stabilized apartments, which make of 50% of all apartments, have had multiple rent freezes, despite escalating building operating costs and real estate taxes.
    Who pays for ever higher real estate taxes and ever frozen residential rents? That’s right – retail store owners.

    • Retail store rents are also high because of restrictions in mortgages that effectively prevent the building owner from lowering the rent. This creates a perverse situation where an empty store is in greater compliance with loan terms than a store rented for less than a particular monthly rent. Any proposed penalties for storefront vacancies will not cure that problem.

  18. Deepest condolences to Steve, Lloyd, and all Tribeca Hardware’s problem-solvers. They seemed to know something about everything — from epoxy to voltages to mulch. No matter how dire the emergency, they calmed you down and often told you a cheaper way to fix it, even pointing you to a competitor if they were out of something. The death of the neighborhood hardware store has been happening all over America. Customers would rather order online or drive to Home Depot to save a few bucks, even though you can’t find anyone there to answer a question. But this is also the evolution of a micro economy that puts more value on a $300 onesie than a convenient socket wrench. Remember George Taylor Specialties on Franklin Street? Founded 1869. Closed 2016. Thank you, Tribeca Hardware.

    • Exactly, customers would rather “save a few bucks”! Stop pitying mom & pops when they’re charging ($) way more than Amazon or Home Depot, etc (with free delivery to your door.) It’s not the customers/landlords fault that the economy is changing. Change is inevitable. Change or Die! You’re an idiot, sadly, if you haven’t learned that historical FACT. Nostalgia doesn’t change the progress of human endeavors/commerce. Closing Duane Street will change nothing.

    • there is a logic to what you say jim smithers but if you follow it to it’s logical conclusion, there is no reason for tribeca to exist. robert moses updated the city, and ended up destroying much of it. be careful what you wish for…

  19. Forget price- there is nothing like being able to run out to the hardware store to immediately replace that broken part or find a replacement for that missing screw or get more adhesive when your old tube seems to have dried out unexpectedly when you are in the middle of a project. Even if items on Amazon were free, you still have to wait at least a day for them.

    So yes, people trying to save a few cents, landlords trying to squeeze out a few more dollars, the city’s misguided policies and the slowdown in the economy are all reasons for the death of small businesses, but we all are the ones who become the poorer for it.

    • If your old tube dried out unexpectedly, you should talk to your doctor not the guy at the hardware store.

  20. No!!! We need this place! Tribeca will probably never have another hardware store. This is a hard one to lose. My dog will be devastated, first petco, now the hardware store. Nowhere left to get treats on chambers.

  21. Sorry to hear this place is closing. Our neighborhood is becoming increasingly desolate (as will surely be the case in cities and towns across the country, and in many parts of the world).

    Regarding local hardware stores: Chinatown Hardware on Walker Street (not technically within TriBeCa, but close enough to be easily accessible) has been a wonderful resource for us over the years, whenever we have any work to do in the home or office, large or small, renovation to painting or patching or repairs. Well-stocked; staff are knowledgeable, and prices are reasonable (indeed on many items their prices are supposedly better than those of Home Depot). I hope this place stays around.

  22. I rely on this place! The staff is wonderful and they have everything! I hope they decide to stick around!

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