Your NewsMag has learned that nonagenarian Roy Wienman will close the Weinman hardware store that had once been the anchor of the Bedford Avenue corridor on Monday, September 1.
His son David is in contract to lease property “close” to the original hardware store and could be in operation before the closure of the store, which has been a fixture on the Bedford Avenue streetscape since the 1930s.
“I don’t know if I’ll hang around my son’s store, there are some things I want to do,” Roy told this website. It’s about time to hang up the sheers, he said.
He said there is still a lot of ‘stuff’ that needs to be sold on the store, and he will offer special “closing inventory’ prices to help move out the rest of the items in the store.
He wishes to thank everyone in the Bellmore communities who came from near and far over the decades to make the hardware store one of the most sought-out stores in the region, a place to shop when Bellmore was the only shopping district between Freeport and Amityville.
As reported in a November post on this website, what was once the region’s most thriving general hardware store serving a farming region as far north as Hempstead Turnpike to provide farming supplies and tools to farmers, to featuring marine supplies for mariners who trolled or lived along the canals long before the swamps were built over with tract housing, the hardware store was no longer sustaining the kinds of ‘dollar purchases’ to keep it open.
This reporter wrote once before of the sprinkler systems and sewage lines and equipment needed by the communities to build them as those dollar purchases. Now, requests are often for screws to fit into walls.
“I’m not as good or as fast as I used to be, either,” Weinman also admitted, adding another factor to the close.
Said Walter Eisenhardt Jr. of Bellmore, “The store, with its original tin walls and ceilings, says much about the man and his trade. Gone and going are the things of the past, such as service, sound and accurate advice. Seeing Roy about a needed part was like seeing your butcher, doctor or shoe repairman. He always knew exactly what would fix your problem, and whether it would net him nine cents or $90 you got the same treatment. Roy saw no difference, and was not in it for the money, he did it for the community. Find that today.”
Bedford Avenue was a place where workers on Friday and Saturday nights after work would go home, have supper and come back and shop the street for their weekly provisions and goods, Weinman recalled. On Fridays stores were open until 9 p.m., and Saturdays they were open until 11 p.m.,” he told this website.
“Roy is unique in what he offers,” said Teri Rosca of Bellmore. “Not many people deal with things in the way that he can,” she said. “Closing Weinman Hardware will change the entire nature the Bedford Avenue,” she concluded.
Robert Bateman said that Roy could work with old equipment to refurbish and make it almost like new, where “big hardware stores now tell you to buy a new one.”
Weinman once remarked to this reporter that when the big ‘box’ stores came in they hired professionals to occupy the aisles and help customers as they came in with questions. “But once the stores got a foothold, you couldn’t find those professionals as much,” he said. So Weinman’s excelled at customer service, still perhaps the most valuable asset a small business has over larger competitors.
“Roy is a landmark,” maintained Nina Lanci, a member of the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. “Roy has touched so many people in this community because of his positive outlook,” she said.