Stores we need & stores we love. With the closing of C. K. & L. Hardware on Canal Street last Tuesday, another valuable resource dried up and the end of another SoHo era was marked. Reported in the NY Times, Haven for Tinkerers Closes Its Nuts and Bolts Business, C. K. & L. has been a valuable resource for inexpensive and hard to find hardware items for years. It was the last of it's kind on Canal Street, and we relied on it along with countless SoHo arists, AT&T technicians and gallery owners when looking for cordless drills, glue, drywall screws, ladders or industrial sized hooks.
The owners, who have been on Canal Street since 1952, are closing their business and leasing the space to a cell phone vendor, which signals the changing times:
... about two years ago the wooden stalls and pushcarts that carry knockoff Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags blossomed up and down the street. The lure of cheap purses now draws throngs of tourists, who clog the street and aren't much interested in buying an extra Trisonic soldering gun or self-sticking velour pads, Mr. Katz said. "No offense - it used to be 90 percent men walking down Canal Street," he said. "Now it is women and tourists."
"All I can say is thank God we bought the place when we had the chance," he said. "Real estate is really the only reliable way to make money in this town."
We wish them well, and will miss the store. (Photo: Canal lookalike in Mexico) MGR