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Goodbye, Newhall Hardware

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Newhall Hardware's closing. Who's next? Koontz's?

For more than six decades, Newhall Hardware typified the mom-and-pop stores that helped build towns and cities all across America. But that's before the big-big-box retailers came along and dominated the market. So how can places like Newhall Hardware possibly compete with the Wal-Marts and Home Depots of the world? That's easy -- they can't. Earlier this year, hardware store owner Victor Feany said that he was quitting the business and liquidating everything. The store's going to be open sporadically until everything is gone.

What was the final straw? Some say it was the rerouting of car traffic away from downtown Newhall (in Santa Clarita) in order to make the street more pedestrian friendly. Seems like the city leaders wanted downtown Newhall to turn into -- presto, chango style -- Pasadena. They even changed the name of the street from San Fernando Road to Main Street. How quaint. But gentrification doesn't happen overnight, and a lot of these small business are paying the price.

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But whatever the reason, we're losing a great little store. Not because it had everything (you couldn't buy McDonald's chicken nuggets while you were cashing out). Not because of the roomy aisles (the place was long and narrow and claustrophobic). But it was because of the people. They would answer your questions. They'd help you find what you were looking for. They said "hello" because it was good customer service, not because the p. 3 of the employee handbook ordered them to do so. Yes, I probably paid a little more when I shopped there, but that was OK with me.

For the time being, I guess I'll end up at Home Depot for my hardware needs. That is, until someone decides to open a Lowe's in downtown Newhall.

Photo by Christine N. Ziemba for LAist.