Williamsburg’s Crest Hardware to close after six decades in business

crest hardware
Crest Hardware on Metropolitan Avenue will close next month after more than 60 years in business.
Photo courtesy of Google Maps

A well-known Williamsburg hardware store is closing next month after more than six decades in business.

Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center on Metropolitan Avenue will bid adieu to the neighborhood on Aug. 30, owner Joseph Franquinha announced on July 9. Franquinha’s father and uncle, Manny and Joe Franquinha, opened the store in 1962. 

Over six decades in business, Crest became a “pillar of the community,” Franquinha said in a statement. 

“Together, we have weathered hurricanes, blizzards, and citywide power outages,” he said. “We have navigated recessions and the ever-changing landscape of North Brooklyn. We even stood tall during a global pandemic.”

crest owner
Crest owner Joseph Franquinha inside the store. Photo courtesy of Crest Hardware/Facebook

But Crest’s “property partners” opted not to renew the lease, according to Franquinha, and plan to sell the 558 Metropolitan Ave. property. According to Curbed, the land is owned by Franquinha’s family — and though he would have liked to stay open, the rest of the family “outvoted” him in choosing to sell. 

The business owner said he decided to close permanently due to rising commercial rents in the nabe as well as the increasing challenges of running a small business in New York City.

“Plus, the thought of trying to recreate the magic of our wonderful home in a new space simply feels out of reach,” he said. 

The closing announcement came seven years to the day after Manny, Franquinha’s father, passed away.

“He’d certainly be saddened and disappointed by all of this, but in honor of his enduring spirit, we encourage you to stay civic and continue supporting other local businesses,” Franquinha said. “They are what give the fabric of our neighborhoods strength.” 

Fraquinha took over the store twenty years ago and said he has worked to keep up with the changing needs of the Williamsburg community – taking Crest from a traditional hardware store to a “cultural hub.” The store hosted an annual art show and pumpkin-carving contest, and was home to a pair of well-loved animal employees: Franklin the pig and Finlay the parrot. 

Crest still sold plenty of traditional hardware store items – its shelves are stocked with home repair supplies like hammers, nails, wood stain and paint — as well as appliances, cleaning products, and toiletries. 

Behind the building is the 5,000-square-foot Urban Garden Center, which sells plants of all kinds, gardening tools, soil and compost, and more. The store’s website encourages customers to “stop by for a peaceful stroll and a breath of fresh air.”

crest garden center
The store features a 5,000-square-foot Urban Garden Center. Photo courtesy of Crest Hardware/Facebook

The store will sell off all of its merchandise, store displays, and fixtures at a steep discount in a liquidation sale starting on July 11. All items will be between 10-70% off, all final sale.

Ahead of its last day in business on Aug. 30, Crest will say goodbye to the neighborhood during a “Farewell Celebration” on Aug. 24. Between 2-8 p.m. at the store, Crest will celebrate with live music, local vendors, and family friendly activities. 

Crest is at least the third family-owned hardware store to close in Brooklyn over the past two years. Last year, Macon Hardware — a Black-owned business in Bed-Stuy – closed after 70 years. On May 27, Doody Home Center in Sheepshead Bay shuttered due to “circumstances beyond [the owners’] control” after a century in business.

“The coming weeks may be shadowed by despair, still we hold our heads high, inspired by all the wonderful memories and long lasting relationships we have made over the years,” Franquinha said. “It has been an honor to serve Brooklyn and beyond, and we depart with a profound sense of appreciation for the privilege to be part of your lives.”