17 April 2012

Accardi Hardware, Oldest Business on Columbia Street, Closes

Many changes are coming to Columbia Street in Brooklyn lately. Yesterday, I reported that the one-time bustling commercial lane had lost one of its longstanding businesses, the 62-year-old Sokol Bros. Furniture Store. And a building near DeGraw that has operated as a slaughterhouse since for nearly a century, recently shut its doors, owing to Gowanus Canal-related construction that unsettled its foundation. Now it seems that Columbia has been robbed of another—perhaps its last—survivor from the old days: Accardi Hardware and Industrial Supply.

Accardi held down the fort at 157 Columbia—between DeGraw and Kane—for decades, when the street, commercially speaking, was little more than a ghost town. I could never find out much about the place, just that it was family owned and had been there forever. (It was actually established in 1915, making it by far the oldest extant business on Columbia.) They had a billboard down on Van Brunt Street (see below) advertising their presence, so I imagine they got a lot of business from Red Hook outfits.

I'm not sure what happened, but Accardi is gone. It's been replace by Red Hook Flooring and Area Rug World.  Area Rug World was founded in 2008.

1 comment:

garyhope said...

I was a young artist with a studio at 235 Columbia Street above Sam Pantano's shoe store. It was one of the best and cheapest studios that I ever had in Brooklyn and New York City. Sam Pantano was a wonderful and kind man.

I bought lots of tools and paint from Accardi's Hardware. Mr. Accardi was always very nice to me. I still have tools that I bought there. A pair of Channel Lock pliers and a 6 foot long ruler and straight edge that I bought there.

Columbia Street and Union Street had the greatest food shopping imaginable. Fish, meat, produce, delicatessens, cafe's, bakeries, cheese. One store sold nothing but baccala, the dried salted cod fish. They had marble tanks to soak the salted cod in.

There was a wonderful Italian restaurant around the corner on President Street called Cafiero's. So good and affordable. I took my parents there when they came to visit their precious baby son living in a cold water studio above Sam's shoe store. My mom always remembered going there.

I got my first bank loan every that I used to buy my first stereo system from the bank on the next block. I was so proud of it. My first credit account was at A&S in "downtown" Brooklyn where I bought a portable typewriter to write to all of my friends and family. Took me months to pay it off. No computers or internet in those days.

There was a Puerto Rican bar and restaurant next to the shoe store where I used to eat a lot of lunches and dinners. A plate of rice and beans was 60 cents. If were rich or had just got paid, you could add meat to it for another 30 cents. Plus they had wine.

Great memories, great people, great food and good times. Thank you Brooklyn and all the Italians and Puerto Rican's who were so nice.