BEST HARDWARE STORE Minneapolis 2006 - Gardner Hardware
515 Washington Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
It wasn't only the big-box home-improvement giants that threatened to squash this 45-year-old hardware store last year. In July, condos were slated to move in and promptly boot the hardware store out. Proposed as "Gardner Lofts," the brainchild of a real-estate group called Shamrock Development would've forced the 122-year-old hardware company to find a new spot to sell its assortment of tools and trinkets. Thankfully, the project flopped, and the little hardware store that could still resides with its name intact and at its home in the North Loop. Gardner Hardware is a neighborhood fixture in downtown Minneapolis, where customers are known on a first-name basis and friendly and knowledgeable staff members can help them find anything they need—whether it's a pet wipe for that mess your dog made after being cooped up in the condo all day, or a finial for that lamp shade that's been suffering from a disorder known as "dangling caddywompas" since the last big move. While downtown do-it-yourselfers take solace in the store's wide array of construction and paint supplies, Gardner also stocks run-of-the-mill home necessities like cleaning supplies and toilet paper.