Bob and Marge Dorman walked through the door of Ace Hardware on 56th Street on Monday.
“I’m glad you’re back,” Marge said to the cashiers at the front of the store. “We missed you guys.”
Ace Hardware re-opened Monday after a fire on June 19 forced the store to close. Since then, the four brothers who own the store, their families and employees have been working to clean everything out, repair the building and restock the shelves with new inventory.
“It’s really nice to have a line or two at the cash register,” said co-owner Greg Korte as he looked around the like-new store. “It’s nice to see some familiar faces.”
A steady stream of customers came through the store Monday morning.
Jim Dorsey, a Temple Terrace resident for 16 years, was looking for wood stain.
“It’s been very inconvenient since they’ve been closed,” said Jim, who has had to travel to Home Depot or Lowe’s in Tampa to find what he needed. “I’m glad they’re open.”
Ginger, who has lived in Temple Terrace for 56 years and didn’t want to give her last name, called Ace Hardware her “home away from home.” She said she went to other Ace stores around Tampa while waiting for the Temple Terrace location to re-open.
“I’m so glad to see it back,” she said.
Temple Terrae Ace Hardware has been in business for 34 years, and it’s been at its current location for 25. It’s owned by Greg, David, Steve and Bruce Korte.
The re-opened store is a bit different from the pre-fire store.
“We fine-tuned our layout in the store,” Greg explained.
The checkout counter has been moved to the right side of the entrance in order to make more room for the grilling section.
“It seems to flow a little easier than it did before,” Greg said of the check out line.
The automotive ChipKey assortment has been expanded, Clark and Kensington paint and primer have been added to the inventory, and more items have been stocked in each department.
But the things that make the Temple Terrace Ace store unique—like the popcorn machine and pet fish, Eugene—are still there.
“And we’ve got our same, friendly staff,” Greg said. “I’m thankful for my staff. It’s been a different summer.”
On Saturday, the Chick-fil-A Cow will make an appearance at the store. The cow will also be there Nov. 12 for the grand re-opening celebration, said Beth Gray, Greg’s daughter who also works in the store. The King High School Band is expected to perform during the event, too. Stay with Patch for more details as they become available.
Bob and Marge Dorman, who have lived in Temple Terrace for more than 20 years, took a walk through the like-new store, and then brought a handful of items to the checkout counter where Marcia Marshall, Kandee Ellison and Marah McAleer were waiting. The Dormans said they like coming to Ace because they can usually find everything they’re looking for.
“We’re in here once a week for something,” Marge said. “We’ll be back soon.”