Best Hardware Store - 2008
Hanneke Hardware & Industrial Supply
To enter the store from the street you have to walk up a long ramp. At the top of the ramp sits a rack full of sledgehammers. Even if you don't need one, you stop and look: Those are some nice hammers. Shiny. Sturdy. Honest. You pull one halfway out to test its weight, and put it back when you realize you could seriously hurt yourself with this thing. Hanneke's city location is on the Hill, and it's the place where anybody who's got something to fix, tune up, smash or replace can find what they're looking for. They stock a ready supply of merch, from honest-to-God construction clothing — you know, Dickies overalls, orange shirts and hard hats — to the new fluorescent light bulbs that last, like, four years. They stock the tools, the parts and the gear you need to hang a door, mow a lawn or repave your street. Heck, they even stock the orange safety cones and a flag to wave off traffic. The shop in the city retains all the charm (and we think that's the right word) of hardware stores done right: handwritten signs and bar-coded stickers that organize all the stuff, and a staff that won't merely tell you how to fix things; they'll explain how said things were built in the first place. And hey, they know how to have fun, too: That's why those sledgehammers are placed there — they're an impulse buy.