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Schuele ‘Ace Express’ Hardware Set To Open For Memorial Day

How long has it been since we had a full scale hardware store close to downtown Buffalo? I mean one with all the tools that you need and endless services to boot? To tell you the truth, I can’t remember. When I first heard that an Ace Hardware was opening in an old brick horse barn on Summer Street next to Schuele Paint Company (Benjamin Moore), I couldn’t help but get excited. Being a customer of Schuele for most of my life, I couldn’t imagine a better fit. It turns out the President of Schuele, Paul Leahey, reached out to Ace Hardware years ago, but nothing ever came of it because Ace was only interested in opening big box stores that didn’t fit the city’s footprint profile. So Paul concentrated on his paint store and played the waiting game. “I always knew that a hardware store would be a good fit,” he told me. “Years ago, when I was out west on vacation, I found myself in a small town, and at the center of town was a great hardware store. It was the hub of activity. I knew then that that was the future of my business.”

It wasn’t until Ace announced that it would be opening an Ace Express format that Paul finally realized that the time had finally come. “Up until this point I have been sending my paint customers to hardware stores twenty minutes away,” Paul, who purchased the paint company eighteen years earlier, explained. “Their faces told the whole story. They wanted to shop in the neighborhood, but they couldn’t. This new store is dedicated to the urbanites who stuck it out. It’s a vindication of sorts. This is something tangible – it’s going to be a first class hardware store. Already my paint customers are as excited as I am. It’s going to be very convenient for any of our existing customers too. Since Benjamin Moore has a co-op relationship withe the Ace store (Benjamin owns stock in Ace), the stores will seamlessly act as one, although they might appear to be different.”
The new Ace Hardware store will reside in a 3000+ sq,’ building – originally a horse barn used in conjunction with the fire and police department (now Schuele Paint). The small, now filled-in window boxes provided the horses with ventilation. The original wood ceiling beams will remain, as will the brick in key locations. There will be 20,000 items in stock at any given time. Anything that is not in stock can be ordered on the Ace Hardware website and picked up at the store. Services that will be offered include key cutting, screen repair, glass cutting, window repair and lawnmower blade sharpening. There will also be a convenience lumber section and… get this… an outdoor garden center on the side of the building (look for the green and white striped awning). The total cost of the project is estimated at half a million dollars.
The Ace Express format is a brand new concept that the company developed for urban locations, and Buffalo will have only the second one built in the country. The store is designed to accommodate a huge inventory that is not far off merchandise-wise from one of the larger Ace stores. By optimizing space and using all of the walls to capacity, Ace is able to deliver a vast number of items without appearing overly congested. Not to say that 3000 sq’ is a small space. It’s not. Basically, the thought is to get back to the way hardware stores looked and felt a long time ago. Yes, there are a lot more products available today, but display capabilities have also come a long way. “We always knew that there was a need for a hardware store here,” Paul said with a smile. “I am happy to finally be able to say that the time has come.” The store will be open to the public on May 26, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. After that it will be open seven days a week.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • LouisTully

    Awesome. I saw this a few weeks ago driving by and thought I mistook the sign. So sick of driving all the way to HD or Lowes. Grossman’s is good but small selection, same with Dibble’ across the street. Hopefully they have a good offering.

  • Chris

    National Retail!!!!! Hopefully there will be more announcements just like this all year long!

  • thisoldcrackhouse

    This is really nice to finally see. Schuele has always
    provided excellent service and know-how, which I’m sure
    will be the case with this new venture. I have had
    good luck doing business with Ace Hardware on Delaware in
    N. Buff. They try to stock items geared towards older homes.

  • Modernist Architect

    Wonderful and exciting news for the neighborhood. Best of luck as this gets off the ground! 🙂

  • Dagner

    An Ace hardware was the hub of the yuppie Chicago neighborhood I lived in years ago. Stuff I bought there I still use daily. The whole personality of the area changed when that Ace was displaced by more upscale retail. This is a good sign.

  • Quixote

    hip hip……..

  • Buffalo_Resurrection

    Great news and ADA compliant!!!
    Inner city should be more like small towns with small retail!

  • brownteeth

    This is the type of development that really makes for a livable neighborhood. We need more every day retailers like this and not more knick knack gift stores.
    I can’t tell you how many trips to Home Depot I’ve made for something stupid like a box of deck screws or a Pex fitting. I look forward to shopping here!

  • GDubs

    Thanks for opening AFTER I finished gutting my house. Guess I’ll just have to find another project…

  • Jay D

    I went to Allentown Hardware for some screws once.

  • Joe E.V.

    Staying loyal to W. Ferry True Valu; talk about sticking it out!

  • jattea

    before or after it was converted to a bar?

  • LouisTully

    How about making that drive to HD with all manner of materials strapped to my car because I don’t have a truck. This will give me a better chance of making it home without sheets of plywood flying off my roof.
    Actually [pat myself on the back], that could be a pretty good idea. Of course being NYS and Buffalo there would be hurdles; but if they could offer a delivery service or a truck available for rental that would be awesome.

  • Mark_P

    Looks great. Address?

  • Tim

    I went and all they had was a few nuts.

  • brownteeth

    HD does have a truck for rent, and it’s free if you spend over $299! They also rent Penske box trucks now too. They do have delivery too. What might be nice for this place is to rent a small 5×8 flat trailer for larger materials. It’s pretty cheap to put a hitch on your car vs buying a truck, etc.

  • NorthBuf

    Main and Summer

  • JSmith

    Buffalo CarShare has a pickup truck available at Main & Allen (behind the subway station).

  • brownteeth

    I found there’s no quick way to get there. For me its just as fast to go to Home Depot and I know they’ll have what I need usually.

  • JM

    I do Maintenance and Construction and shop 99% at Dibbles/2nds, Neimic, Irr, Chi-Chis, Mangione Hardware (across from Tops on Niagara) and Shanor and a few other local spots. If you know what your looking for you almost never have to go to to Home Depot and increase the chances to talk to someone helpful exponentially.

  • BuffaloQPublic

    Welcome and best wishes Ace!

  • Rcc

    I am confused , big box bad , little box good ?

  • ForestBird

    Before it became another condescending profit-center for an NYC refugee, Allentown Hardware was a great store. When I moved to my first apartment, I and my roomie got a kitchen table & chairs, box springs, refurbished toaster (still in use) and many other necessities.
    Dibble’s and Chi-Chi’s are still the “real” hardware stores on the West Side.

  • LouisTully

    I didn’t know that about HD or Carshare. Thanks for the info!

  • Dagner

    Hey, the mini-Ace Hardware on Summer opened today! Check it out.

  • LouisTully

    Awesome. I’mma get me a rake.

  • benfranklin

    Went to this store last night, way better than I anticipated. Two helpful employees, quick in and out (sorry, I drove). The space is full, really full. The manager (I think?) said they patterned the store after one in Manhattan (maybe that’s in the article). Anyway…if you need something, give them a try.