Ace Hardware Opens Its Doors

Photo by Julie BUTCHER
In the garden department an Ace Hardware associate helps a couple.


Longtime local resident Kurt Liewer was headed somewhere else when he saw the “Now open!” signs outside the new Ace Hardware on Foothill Boulevard. He pulled into the quickly filling parking lot.

“I’m glad to see them here,” he said with a smile, heading in to check out the store on the first day of its soft opening.

The Crescenta Valley Ace Hardware store replaces the Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) that was at the same location and is one of 11 California openings announced. OSH filed for bankruptcy protections in 2013; Lowe’s purchased the remaining OSH stores in California, including the one in La Crescenta, until the August 2018 announcement of the closure of the remaining stores.


“Ace is delighted to fulfill a need by bringing back the local, neighborhood hardware store in 11 California communities,” said John Venhuizen, president and CEO of Ace Hardware Corporation. “Ace intends to honor the tremendous legacy Orchard Supply Hardware established in these communities while infusing them with Ace’s unique culture and helpful service for which Ace has become famous.”

“We’re fortunate that it’s an Ace,” one couple said as they surveyed the layout of the new store. “I pulled out all my fairy lights for the holidays and they’re all OSH lights,” the wife recalled wistfully. “It is so sad that [OSH] made such dumb business decisions.”

“This was OSH’s busiest store,” agreed the husband.

Lawrence Stuart started working for OSH “on the floor” in 1997, working his way up to manage the La Crescenta location until it closed at the end of 2018. He jumped at the chance to re-open the store as Ace Hardware.

“The people from Kansas were surprised to see the view,” he shared. “We’ve got an extensive product line of every tool and power tool you could imagine wanting. (He listed them all.) We’re a Stihl dealer, not an easy designation to secure, which means we can repair your tools right here. Albert here runs the ‘Helpful Hub’ downstairs; we can help you with any project.”

Orchard lost opportunities when it stopped partnering with local businesses, Stuart explained. Ace has specific staff dedicated to their “B2B,” business-to-business, partnerships. Folks from the CV Water District had already stopped in and the La Cañada Chamber of Commerce reps are expected to stop by sometime today, he

“It’s great to see all these friendly, familiar faces,” said a cashier who used to work at OSH. “I missed this community, the work, this store. I tried an office job but, you know, this is where I’m meant to be.”

Nearly half of the approximately 50 workers employed at the new business previously worked for OSH. The other half was hired from the local community.

Ace Hardware Corporation is the second largest dealer-owned cooperative in the United States, pooling buying and promotions for its 5,100 locally owned and operated hardware, home center and lumber stores in 50 states and 65 foreign countries and territories. The 33,179-square-foot La Crescenta store is owned by Ace Retail Holdings based in the Kansas area.

A festive grand opening celebration is planned for Feb. 14, 2020. In the meantime, the store is open for business every weekday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and until 7 p.m. on Sundays.