Friday, January 16, 2009

The REAL Hardware Stores

We've become so accustomed to the Home Depot and Lowe's stores of the world, that we've forgotten about the original hardware store. That's the one where the employees actually know about the tools they're selling; the one where they can find any part for anything you need. Those are the REAL hardware stores, and though there are few left, there are two in Atlanta that have everything you need, and things you don't even know exist.

The General Hardware Store in Brookhaven is as honest as any hardware store has ever been. Not since the original Buckhead Hardware was torn down in the early 1980's at the center of Buckhead has another hardware shop come close to being a real hardware store. There are no frills, no specialty goods, no gift items at General Hardware, but you can find absolutely every single piece of hardware or any tool you might need. And the salesmen know exactly what they're selling and exactly what you need, even if you're not sure. You might drive right by this store because the storefront is original, but know that this is the last of its breed, and it's still one of the best. It's located at 4218 Peachtree Road, 404-237-5209.

Highland Hardware used to be a fabulous hardware shop right in the middle of Highlands. However, now it is a fabulous hardware shop with a spectacular selection of woodworking tools and an array of woodworking classes. It is polished and organized and professional. The employees are knowledgeable about general hardware and woodworking and gardening and any other request you might have. One of my favorite things about Highland Hardware is that they still sell original milk paints. Milk paints are difficult to find, and give off a patinated, chalky look found on a lot of 18th and 19th century furniture. If you want the sophistication of a general store with the knowledge of an old fashioned hardware store, head to Highland Hardware at 1945 North Highland Avenue in Atlanta; 404-872-4466.

Neither will disappoint, and both will delight.

St. Andrews from the Cathedral