Call it a sign of respect!
The city is renaming a Park Slope street in honor of two longtime locals.
“Joe and Flo Leopoldi Way” will run for one block on Seventh Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, honoring the late couple and lifelong Park Slopers behind Leopoldi Hardware — the mom and pop tool shop at 415 Fifth Ave. between Seventh and Eighth streets.
“It’s a very big honor,” said the couple’s eldest son, also named Joe Leopoldi. “They were both active in the community for years. They cared about the neighborhood.”
Joe Leopoldi and Flo Finamore both grew up on Fifth Street, but after the local lovebirds got hitched in 1959, they moved two blocks south to the Seventh Street block that will soon bear their name.
Shortly after their wedding, the Park Slope power couple opened ‘The Place’ — a luncheonette formerly located on Sixth Avenue near Fifth Street — which they ran for nearly two decades, even after opening the doors to their hardware store in 1966.
“The luncheonette was booming for years,” said the younger Joe. “My father bought the hardware store thinking he’d work less, but they ended up running both for a lot of years.”
Joe senior passed away in 1986, and the family matriarch died late last year. The hardware store is now run by their three living sons — Joe, Peter, and Robert.
The street renaming was included in a City Council bill which passed on July 23 to rename 86 streets and other locations around the city, but it wouldn’t have happened without the advocacy of the Park Slope community, according to the younger Joe.
“A couple longtime loyal customers pushed for it, and helped it move along,” he said. “It was just other people in the community who knew my parents.”