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Downtown Pleasanton to have a hardware store again

Original post made on Apr 8, 2013

Fred Nichandros, who owns Workbench Hardware in Valley Plaza at Santa Rita Road and Valley Avenue, has signed a long-term lease to take over the 11,000-square-foot former Domus kitchen and home accessories store at 652 Main St.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 8, 2013, 7:57 AM

Comments (39)

Posted by Smitty, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 8, 2013 at 8:32 am

This is the BEST news I've heard about downtown for a long time! He'll have my support! Can't wait!

Posted by Michael L., a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

Is this the new destination for downtown? A hardware store is the last thing that I'm looking for in downtown. I'm looking for places to go out and have fun. There is a hardware store at Valley and Santa Rita and that's close enough. It's not like I go hardware shopping everyday. If I go once a year that's enough. How does he expect to survive with the high rents?

Posted by Allen, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 8, 2013 at 8:53 am


Posted by Jake, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 8, 2013 at 9:06 am

Michael L.
It may be the last thing you are looking but it will be good for the economy of Downtown, do it yourselfers, contractors as well as the property owner who has been eating the cost of a vacancy for many months, want to have fun, Great America is a good place to start.

Posted by ccwc, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Apr 8, 2013 at 9:16 am

Yay! That is indeed GREAT news!!! LOVE that hardware store!! Can't Wait!!!

Posted by nancy s., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2013 at 9:16 am

We used to support the old hardware store downtown, you know the one that is now a bank....loved the wood floors and "old fashioned" feel. I love the store located on Valley/Santa Rita. I also love the "old style" Castro Valley and Hayward stores. They have the feel of a real neighborhood hardware store. They can fit more into those stores than one can believe. Plus the personal service. I find when we go to a workbench hardware store, we come out with the right product. Don't make numerous trips back and forth. Good luck with the new endeavor. You will be seeing us there....

Posted by steven, a resident of Parkside
on Apr 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

This comes as a good move, but if any of your think this will change downtown your dillusional. Without strong leadership from pols who respect the Constitution, we're all dillerious with false hopes.

Posted by Al, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 8, 2013 at 10:16 am

Finally something new. I was afraid it was going to become a bank, Italian restaurant, massage parlor, or salon. You know something we already have twenty of and don't need another. This downtown needs a kick in the pants. It needs character. It needs life. It needs diversity.

Posted by Birdy, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 8, 2013 at 11:13 am

Great news! I loved the old hardware store that used to be downtown. I walked down all the time to get little odds and ends to fix stuff at my house. Glad to hear there will be some home goods too. Nice use of the space!

Posted by Mary, a resident of Canyon Creek
on Apr 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

Poor Ptown never knows what to do and has such little character and diversity... that space could be something old fashioned pizza/ice cream parlor, oh wait thats right we don't want to attract kids downtown... kids are a problem. silly me.. oh and the bikers at tullys are a problem becaue they smoke...lets see whatever else snobs!!! what else! Livermore is the place to be for diversity and fun...

Posted by April, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I think what Downtown needs is something with a strong established client base that will bring in foot traffic that lingers for lunch, dinner and a little more shopping. Everyone downtown would benefit from something like this. The Domus space would have been perfect for something like an Anthropologie or a Restoration Hardware.

Posted by Another, or Instead?, a resident of Danbury Park
on Apr 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Does this mean they will close the one on Santa Rita, near the Monument car parts?

Posted by Stella, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Michael- obviously you are not a real man. Men love hardware stores.

I am looking forward to it since the parking at Fred's other store is tight and Richerts doesn't always have the knick knack hardware that Fred has now.

for all us people that live downtown in the old houses we are welcoming it.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm

It takes a community of support for a hardware store to succeed and remain.

Don't be surprised that the business goes down the drain as soon as everybody realizes that better prices exist elsewhere.

Posted by dave, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Idea for owner: When I was growing up in Vermont, we had a general store in town. Think hardware store plus some food items, candy, ice cream. It was a place everyone went for this or that, kids and adults. I'd love it if we had someplace like that downtown.

Posted by Claudette , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Well.... glad to see something in that space, but a hardware store really wasn't what I had hoped for, as someone said already, we have a hardware store just down the street on Sunol Blve across from Raley's that's family owned. Been there for years and deserves our support.

Posted by Barb L, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

What I would love to see in the store is a section with garden art. There are not enough stores with fun things to put in your garden. Especially flowers and things that are solar and light up at night.

Posted by downtown shopper, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Nancy S -- look up the meaning of diversity. We already have ice cream/yogurt shops and more than a few places for pizza. How many stores are downtown that actually sell useful things? About none. Sorry, I have no need for trendy clothing that works for a twenty-something and costs more than it could ever be worth. Overpriced kitchen stuff? Nah. Bicycles? Sorry, already have two. Diversity means something that is not already there. That would be a hardware store. If you think Livermore is so much better then please shop there. Or how about this, just move there and stop complaining about Pleasanton.
Those of us who actually spend money downtown have mourned the loss of the hardware store ever since the building owner kicked out the former store with little notice. This is a gift to get one back downtown.
I probably spent $100 in the old hardware store for every $1 spent at all other downtown stores combined until it was forced out. Welcome back hardware store, you are needed.

Posted by nancy s., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

@downtown shopper...excuse me...maybe you should reread my post and then apologize....

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 9, 2013 at 8:19 am

@ Barb L - I think there is a store on main street that sells garden items - it's called Serenity Stoneworks, opposite the veterans hall. It sells fountains, garden and home decor - the folk who run it are lovely too. You should check it out.

Love that there's going to be a new hardware store in town - I really miss Kollns Hardware.

Posted by long time Pleasanton resident, a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 9, 2013 at 8:43 am

Will the current owner keep the store open in the Valley Plaza open??

Posted by ccwc, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Apr 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

Michael L - you must not be from these parts! We used to have Kolln Hardware and we sure missed it when it went out. The very store You are talking about is the one moving into Domus - plus will have some Domus items too. These guys are GREAT at that store and if you own a home - you realize how often you need the hardware store!! And they are open later hours too! With competitive prices. No need to drive clear to Lowes or Home Depot. This is VERY exciting news for downtown. There are enough 'fun' places to go. What we don't need any more of on Main Street is Pizza Parlors and Banks!!

Posted by ccwc, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Apr 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

Sour grapes 'Mary' - quit griping about our GR8 town and move your butt to cowtown Livermore then.

And Cholo - you are such a downer Debbie.

Posted by P-town mama, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Apr 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

I think Dave's idea is great! A hardware store with an old fashioned soda fountain, ice cream and candy would be awesome. Pleasanton lacks a fun place to get an ice cream cone or sundae. I hope the owners read these comments!

Posted by Claudette , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

I'd love to see Garden Plants and Garden Art added to this Hardware Store, this would make them a great addition as we have a family owned hardware store just down the street on Sunol Blvd called Richter Lumber that sells Ace Hardware. They don't have Plants and Garden Art. This way we can have Two similar stores to shop at yet they each will have an element of uniqueness to add to the community ~ Kitchen stuff that Domus carried just doesn't make sense other than sinks for a hardware store....

Posted by Claudette , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2013 at 9:47 am

Soft serve Swirly ice cream cones are being served in downtown already P-town mama... it's at the cute place on the corner where you can go to the drive through and pick up eggs, milk and other handy items. In the summer you can see the line and the smiles of happy kids and adults licking their way to happiness ~ Cows are painted on the side of this place, can't miss it on the way to the FireHouse Art Center. Meadowlark Drive-In Dairy 57 W. Neal Street 925 846-2261 ~

Posted by Jaclyn, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 9, 2013 at 10:05 am

Dave has a great ipoint and there is a great example of that model in Wisnoms Hardware in San Mateo.

A little bit of everything (sadly sans soda fountain) from small appliances, knick-knacks, outdoor items, house wear, food items and of course hardware.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

This sounds as if it would be similar to "Steve's Housewares" which is in St. Helena. It's an Ace hardware store also but has a lovely houseware's section as well. I miss Domus' kitchen ware department. I don't want to drive to Dublin to buy a kitchen item and Macy's and William's Sonoma are lovely stores but expensive. This is an exciting and welcome addition to our downtown. Good luck!

Posted by steve, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

Wow, this is not what is needed downtown. Pleasanton you have no clue

Posted by PW Reader, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

We're happy that Fred is expanding into downtown Pleasanton! Kolln's Hardware was the epitome of old-fashioned hardware store, from the creaky floors to bins of nails, and always carried anything you could think of. We used to make an excursion to downtown to get what we needed from Kolln's, then off to breakfast or lunch somewhere. So we think a hardware store downtown is a wonderful idea, especially when he'll carry some of the Domus items. Can't wait! We fully support Fred's Workbench Main Street--welcome!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

leave it to some self-serving "artist" to recommend "garden art" so that it can make money...for herself...BUSTED!

tee hee...

Posted by Kath, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I am so thrilled that this is happening to downtown Pleasanton. I didn't even enjoy going downtown any more because I felt like an outsider and I have lived here for many years. I loved the old hardware store too and am delighted that I can still walk down to the store, get great advice and enjoy my walk back home. I think Pleasanton has become a town of snops and the Main Street just proves that. Not all people are looking for a tea house or a boutique but a more homey atmosphere to relax and feel welcome.

Posted by Barb L, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

To Cholo. I guess you're referring to my post. I'm not an artist of any kind. I'm a retired woman who just likes fun things in my garden. I find your post rather rude. On the other hand, I appreciate the post from the resident of the downtown neighborhood that suggested that I check out Serenity Stoneworks. That was a nice helpful post as opposed to yours.

Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm

True economic diversity in downtown makes the area more viable as a business district. Those who suggest the space should be an ice cream parlor or restaurant are clearly not interested in downtown being anything more than a giant food court. The return of a hardware store is great news for the economic health of the neighborhood and of small businesses in general. I will certainly patronize the new business. Of course, only if others do so will it survive. Domus, after all, eventually folded for the same reasons. Time will tell if Pleasanton residents are more interested in big box economy than the health of local businesses.

Posted by Stacee, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm

hey Cholo-go back to Livermore and stay there. you stood me up on one too many dates here in P-town. go hang out on Chestnut Mall

Posted by PW Reader's Husband, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 10, 2013 at 1:07 am

I definitely look forward to Workbench II. Workbench has been my #1 go-to place for most anything fro over two decades. In addition to regular hardware stuff, Workbench carries kitchenware and fun stuff for kids and older.
April - Workbench has a well-established client base. The Valley Plaza store is open 7 days a week and is quite busy.
Mary - If a kid isn't interested in a hardware store, then a parent is ignoring imagination. Craft and hardware stores are where kids can take an idea and bring it to fruition.
Danbury Park and Mohr Park - I was told (at the Valley Plaza store) is it will stay open. The downtown location will increase what is carried, and allow larger items.
Cholo - If you actively compare prices, you find that the orange box has higher prices for many commodities. Its market strategy is to carry a wider variety for one-time sales.
Claudette - Richert Lumber is both a different franchise and a lumberyard. The stores have significantly different goods. Yard products and small tools are about common goods, and they may come from the same maker (which is true for the orange box and OSH).
Downtown resident - Thank you for mentioning Serenity Stonework. I'll check it out.
Birdy - I too miss the creaky floor between the front and back sections at Kolln's. Maybe there's a back corner at the Domus location that Fred could get to creak?
Michael L. - Either your little mansion is too new to repair, or you aren't enjoying the joys of home ownership, a big yard, and a garden.
And for PW Reader - our last two coffee pots and carafes and a few "Domus"-like kitchenware pieces came from Workbench. My trips to the store will take a little longer..., maybe now you'll join me? Lunch downtown?

Posted by Tom Richert, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:21 am

Fred, and the Work Bench Hardware stores are friend's. We (Richert Lumber Co.) have co-existed as local business's and Work Bench's competitor for almost 40 years. Recently we expanded our store and have added new products. Workbench is now expanding its business, opening an 11,000 sf second location.
My store is an Ace Hardware, Fred's is a True Value Hardware, both are co-ops, fiercely competitive. We offer similar, but also, different products, both are local and family owned.
The national (box) home improvement stores offer many more products, however, for the "basket of goods" in convenience hardware store items, the price difference is as slim as the thickness of your paper receipt.
I hope to be Work Bench's competitor for another 40 years and wish Fred and his dad, John, great success with their new store.
Tom Richert (Richert Lumber)

Posted by R Lou, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Thank You Fred for bringing True Value to our downtown. Thank You Tom Richert for explaining Ace and True Value. Looking forward to seeing those new Red awnings reading "True Value". So tired of hearing about the Domus building, time to get those blue awnings down and move on with the new Hardware store.

Posted by Anthony R.H., a resident of Birdland
on Apr 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Very classy remarks from Tom Richert. Friendly competition at it's best.

Think globally but shop (& drink)locally I always say!

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