After 30 years as an icon of lower Broadway, Lucky’s Hardware will close its doors.
Ralph Pasqua, the owner, said the closing is due to his health issues and other related problems.
“We will be open a few months longer only to sell out the remaining stock,” he said in a letter issued to his customers on June 30. “I want to personally thank all my customers for the opportunity to serve everyone with their problems from time to time.”
In an interview, Pasqua said he’d been trying to sell the business for quite some time, and had a couple of offers that didn’t pan out.
“I didn’t intend to close the business,” he said. “I wanted to sell it, and one of the offers came close.”
“I didn’t intend to close the business; I wanted to sell it.” -- Ralph Pasqua
While the closing of the building will likely take place at the end of July, he won’t be closing the store until the end of September, leaving him time to sell off existing merchandise – some of which he has stored in a local warehouse.
Pasqua opened his doors for business on March 1, 1981 at a site that had already operated as a hardware store for years prior to his taking over.
As a contractor who handled oil and heating systems, Pasqua didn’t really know the retail end of hardware when he took over. He remembers stopping across the street at O’Neil’s Candy Store for a pack of gum, then coming into the store, rolling up his sleeves, and getting to work, learning most of what he needed to know as he went along.
He remembers not being immediately accepted into the neighborhood.
“My neighbors kept asking, ‘Who is this kid?’ ” he said with a laugh.
But one of the local Jewish merchants, who had a reputation for being standoffish, liked Pasqua.
“He said the only problem he had with me was that I wasn’t Jewish,” Pasqua said.
Over the years, he won the neighborhood over. So it is more of a shock to many to hear that he will be closing.
But it’s time, he said.
Much to do
He’s older and has had health issues, and has a catering business he’s been running out of R&Bz Pub. With the accumulated hours during the week and on weekends, he said he’s tired.
“I’m here to open this store and I’m here to close it,” he said. “Do you know how many toilets I’ve fixed over 30 years?”
He said he went to lift an 80-pound bag of cement and it nearly brought him down.
The only aspect of the business that he will miss, he said, is making keys – which is the biggest part of the business anyway.
“I like hands-on things,” he said.
Over the years, he said, he’s lived by a saying one of the locksmiths gave him, “Take care of the neighborhood, and it will take care of you.”
“And that’s what I’ve tried to do,” he said.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.