It's something just as welcome: A NEW DOWNTOWN HARDWARE STORE!
Yes, that’s right. Those of us close to the downtown core no longer need to drive out to Ygnacio Valley, or to Lafayette to fulfill our needs for just that right “roofing nail,” pipe wrench, or all-in-one faucet. We can head to Walnut Creek Hardware at 2044 Mt. Diablo Boulevard. (Just west of Blockbuster).
And, golly, gee, listen to me throwing these home improvement terms around! As if I, Soccer Mom, know anything about any of this DIY/home improvement stuff. But I’m sure there are a fair number of Walnut Creek residents who care about such terms and equipment and are delighted that this convenient new store is open, and every day except for certain major holidays.
Actually, I was amazed to learn that Walnut Creek Hardware had its soft opening this past Thursday. Talk about coincidences! That evening, I was at a pizza party for my son’s Walnut Creek soccer team, and a couple of parents lamented the fact that downtown Walnut Creek no longer had a hardware store. Not since Simon’s closed to make way for Plaza Escuela and the failed Andronico’s upscale grocery store project.
As a Walnut Creek native, I personally have fond memories of my father, a big fan of home improvement and guy/carpentry projects, dragging me--to what I believe it was called--to Kelway’s Hardware at 2721 N. Main Street on Saturdays. It turns out that I actually loved rummaging around the bins of nails and pipes in that crowded, dusky, messy old place (what is now Masse’s Billiards Bar and Grill). And then, as a celebration of our father/daughter hardware shopping bonding, we headed to McDonald’s on California Boulevard and gorged on Big Macs and chocolate milkshakes. Those were the days.
But back to my soccer parent friends last Thursday: I assured them that a hardware store was coming to Walnut Creek soon. Very soon. I’d read about it and talked to people about it.
And lo and behold! It arrived on the very day I spoke of it!
So, yes, I hear that it is a basic hardware store. It occupies about 12,500 square feet of retail space and is stocked with supplies for home building, plumbing, electrical, cleaning, and DIY projects. No, it’s not a fancy “Restoration Hardware” kind of place. However, given that it is located a few blocks from such stylish destinations as Tiffany and Co. and Nordstrom, it isn’t decorated in a dusty, messy, fluorescent-lit hardware-store kind of way, and it does stock does stock such classier items as chrome fixtures for your Harley-Davidson motorcycle. And since “green” is so stylish, sexy, and, of course, socially responsible these days, Walnut Creek stocks eco-friendly non-toxic, non-odor paint by Mississippi-based Mythic Paint.
The official grand opening of Walnut Creek Hardware will take place in late March and coincide with the completion of the store’s nursery, of up to 8,500 square feet, which will open to the rear of the hardware store. The owners, both Walnut Creek residents, had the idea that they wanted to replace what was lost when the Whole Foods Market took over the former Navlet’s garden center on Newell Avenue.
Finally, Walnut Creek Hardware is part of the Ace Hardware cooperative, but is independently owned.
Except for major holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Walnut Creek Hardware is open Monday-Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, call (925) 705-7500.