Crest Hardware, or a pig who keeps your business running

A couple of days ago I went to the Crest Hardware, a family owned hardware store, which operates since 1962. It is located at 558 Metropolitan ave, in Williamsburg, just one minute walk from the “Lorimer St.” subway station of the L train. A friend of mine, who lives in the area, recommended this store, because “they have flowers too”. It was a strange recommendation, but I decided to go anyway, just to see what does a hipster hardware store look like. Actually, I was expecting to see something fancy, but I’ve never expected my visit to be that entertaining.

As I said above, the store was very easy to find: because of its red color, it will be the first thing you’ll see after getting out of the subway. Also, there are a lot of eye-catching potted flowers in front of it, as well as two sandwich boards with announcements. The first one acknowledges that there is a big garden on the back of the store, whereas another is much more mysterious: it simply says that “Franklin is in”. A big flying pig is painted on one of the store’s windows (as I found out later, its name is Cupig). Also, there are two untypical for a hardware store stickers on the door, which say that this place is very much liked on both Yelp and Foursquare.

The store is pretty spacious inside: it has 6 aisles of merchandise, small room with lumber on the right, separate areas for plumbing, hardware and locksmith, and awesome indoor and outdoor garden sections.

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Things in the store are very easy to find, because everything is labeled and there are a lot of signs on the walls, although it’s hard to say what type of hardware the store is best at. It has a little bit of everything: lumber and iron, plumbing, electrical, hand and power tools, paints and sprays, chemicals. There is also some weird stuff like a 24″ crescent wrench, tape measure suspenders, 36″ mattock, huge selection of manila rope and casters, or my new “game-of-throne-ish” red knee pads.

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As for the staff, everyone is very friendly, but no one is really rushing to help you. The key guy asked me if I need something, or “just browsing”. Another guy, who noticed that we are taking pictures, asked if we saw the parrot and the pig. After seeing a huge question mark in my eyes, he said that we have to go to the garden center right now.

The store’s garden center has two sections: indoor with houseplants, and backyard with a small garden. Besides different kinds of plants in the indoor section, there is a big African grey parrot that whistles at customers.

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But the real icon of the Crest Hardware lives in the backyard. His name is Franklin, he is a pot-bellied pig and a Facebook public figure. And he is probably the primary thing that makes the store stand out. When he “is in”, of course.






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