Landmark hardware stores liquidates stock with store, internet sales.
The final nail is being pounded into the coffin of a neighborhood landmark.
Newhall Hardware, which has only had two owners in the last 60 years, is closing its doors forever next month. They are closed for inventory and preparation for a clearance sale that will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Owner Victor Feany was too distraught to talk with reporters on Monday, but store manager Diane Vradenberg spent some time over the weekend on the phone calling their regular customers to give them news of the closure first-hand.
“We have an old house,” said Andree Walper, a Placerita Canyon homeowner who also works in the city’s economic development office. “I don’t know where we’re going to go when something needs fixing. They always had everything.”
Newhall Hardware opened in 1947 when Don Guglielmino established a community center on San Fernando Road that offered everything from washboards to tools and tack and a never-empty peanut barrel where town gossip flew and problems of the world were solved. Feany worked for Don Gee, as he was known, and bought the business in 1998.
When Feany prepared for the 60th anniversary celebration in August, he said what he treasured most was the hands-on way he and his staff did business. Customers were strangers only once; if you needed something, you could run a tab and they didn’t take credit or debit cards. You paid your account in checks or cash, usually face-to-face.
Vic was a self-professed hardware man who opened the doors every day and hoped to sell enough to pay the rent at the end of the day.
It’s hard to pinpoint just one reason for Newhall Hardware’s demise. Walper said the town developed away from its historic downtown, despite a current campaign to market the area that is ramping up. Parking has always been an issue, but the flight of consumers to big box home improvement stores for their nuts and bolts is most likely the culprit.
“Newhall Hardware is a unique business,” she said. “It was truly an anchor of downtown Newhall redevelopment and it’s a shame to see it gone. I wish they could have held on.”
The hardware store’s closure is the second of notable businesses leaving downtown Newhall. Antique Flower Garden locked the doors of the old jailhouse on Spruce Street at the end of December.