Jan. 14, 2015 By Michael Florio
An Astoria hardware store is closing after being in business for nearly 60 years.
Square Hardware, located at 36-16 Ditmars Blvd, will be closing its doors at the end of the month after being open since 1955, according to owner Tom Orama.
Orama, 58, has owned the store since 2000. He started working at Square Hardware in 1980 and was the manager from 1981 until he purchased it from the previous owner.
Orama said there were several reasons why he elected to close—such as the lease was up, the business was in decline and he had some health issues to take care of.
He said that that in the past 10 years business had slowed with the influx of younger residents. These residents, he said, tend to shop online or go to big-box stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond.
Many of the newer residents have also come in from Manhattan and other wealthy areas, he said. “They do not do the hands on repairs that have to be done,” he said.
Furthermore, Orama said, many of his long-time customers have moved out of the neighborhood.
However, he said he would miss the relationships he has with his existing customers.
“I’m dealing with third generation customers now,” he said. “I’m helping the grand kids of people I used to help when I first started working here.”
“I’m ready to move on,” Orama said, who lives East Harlem. “I have nothing but good memories.”