Historic hardware store closing up shop

July 12, 2012 11:35:19 PM PDT
It has been said "change is the only constant." That applies to people, and also to cities. Sometimes it's good, other times it's telling. An example in Noe Valley is a little of both.

The "Retirement Sale" sign outside Tuggy's Hardware on 24th Street appears to tell the whole story and owner Denny Giovannoli does a convincing job of backing it up.

"I just decided it was time to retire and enjoy life," Giovannoli said.

Tuggy's Hardware has been a Noe Valley institution for more than a century. Giovannoli has spent half of it there. He began at 12 years old, helping his dad, who used to describe Tuggy's as "the warehouse for the neighborhood."

When Tuggy's was still in its prime, advice came free with every purchase, they could grind a key for any lock and sell a solution for any small problem. They even stocked antique plumbing fixtures indigenous to the homes in the area.

Ever since the sign went up, it's been one long goodbye. When a business has been in a neighborhood for 114 years, there is no such thing as a clean break.

But as Giovannoli explains, it was inevitable.

"You question if you're doing a good job, you try to change things up, you put money back in to boost it up again and in the end, I realized it had changed," Giovannoli said.

It's a case of Giovannoli versus goliath big box stores and the goliaths winning.

Denny has made arrangements to lease the building, but cannot say to whom, yet. But he says it won't be a hardware store.


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