Adios Northwest Hardware


Can’t remember the last time I saluted a small business, but Northwest Hardware and its manager Tracey K. Lara were really special to our Northwest Hills neighborhood. NH operated here, by some accounts, for 44 years and we patronized them for the last twelve, never imagining they would close.

Much less close with so little fanfare. Not even a Going Out of Business Sale for their scores of loyal customers. They just folded their tent and stole away. Which, considering their many years of very personal service to all, is passing strange.

Northwest Hardware was the second business in that shopping center on Far West Boulevard to close since the center was bought out (and tastelessly remodeled with a minimalist look) by Goodwill Industries, the “charity” which gets all of its merchandise for free and is known for paying its execs big bucks while short-changing its disabled employees. One business closing is a coincidence. Two is a trend. Who will be next? And why?

Good luck, Tracey! We’ll all miss you and we’ll be much poorer without Northwest Hardware.

9 responses to “Adios Northwest Hardware

  1. Stanley,
    The old Austin is almost gone, which is the way of the world. The last hold out maybe north Burnet Rd. between Anderson Lane and 183. I don’t know if you remember Floyd Cantwell’s junkyard on Spicewood Sprgs Rd. just west of Mopac, I ran across it’s reincarnation on 183A just east of Leander and wonder of wonders Floyd is still alive and his business is the bane of the neighborhood!

  2. North Burnet Road? Yes, indeed. Going the other direction, way south down by Town Lake, do you remember Liberty Lunch? Know which downtown skyscraper used to be a tamale stand? How about Texas French Bread, out on what they now call SoCo? Pretentious twaddle. And they renamed Town Lake for the crook LBJ’s equally crooked wife. Which makes no more sense than renaming 1st Street for Cesar Chavez, as a sop to the Mexicans.

  3. Yeah, Freeport lost Tobey Hardware long ago, Davenport’s Jewelry, WT Grant, Penney’s, and Kroger. Nothing in Freeport now but businesses related to the chemical industry, convenience stores, and restaurants that do most of their business at lunch, from the plants and related places. Nothing going on after work, really.

    But, it could be worse. Could have a street named MLK.

  4. Oh yes I remember LL. Beto y los Fairlanes many times. Also Vulcan Gas Co. on Congress, Soap Creek Saloon, and Sennacherib was one of the early bartenders at the original Hole In the Wall. Don’t forget that South Lamar is now of course SoLa, and my favorite the new BroLa (Brodie Lane). More good news James White is still valiantly holding out huddled between Lofts at the Broken Spoke on South Lamar.

  5. A bartender, eh? Lest we forget: Armadillo World Headquarters off South First. I saw Gil Scott Heron and Kinky’s Texas Jewboys there shortly before it finally closed, to be replaced by an idiot office tower the state claimed after such proved to be overbuilt.

  6. They shalt speak Kinky’s name with same hushed reverence given to Randolph Scott (one of Sennacherib’s favorite movies “Blazing Sadlles). They ain’t making Jews like Jesus anymore, as I heard that……
    PS. Bartender yes, one of Sennacherib’s many incarnations. My ex-wife worked as a counselor on Kinky’s parents kids ranch out near Kerrville, Echo ranch I think was the name.

  7. My own favorite includes the line (perhaps the title, as well, I forget): “I’m just another asshole from El Paso.”

  8. There is that tendency to disappear in small shops. I think that the big chains are the main reason. The main problem is that the big chains’ shops are manned by minimum pay androids that don’t really know crap about the stuff they sell. So when you need some small doohickey that is non-standard, the small shops are usually your salvation. Almost never to be found in the big ones.

  9. P.S. My recent disappearance was due to another short stay in the familiar hospital, it is becoming a sort of a tradition. Meanwhile, specially for you, an attempt to decode the “aromantic”…