Salem Street True Value Hardware Closing After 52 Years

2015-10 | I Am Books-53

2015-10 | I Am Books-56Owner Ken Rothman has decided to retire and close his family’s longstanding hardware store, Salem Street True Value Hardware & Urban Home Center.

Signs at the store express thanks to the community with a plan to liquidate inventory for an early 2016 closing.

A few years ago, Ken Rothman taped an interview for North End Stories reflecting on changes in the neighborhood. Watch it here.


39 Replies to “Salem Street True Value Hardware Closing After 52 Years

  1. Boston is dying a slow death that is hard to watch. Thanks for keeping the streets clean, True Value.

      1. Jamison – Many of the hallmark establishments and businesses that gave flavor and credence to blocks, corners, squares and whole neighborhoods have been falling like dominoes over the last 20 years. Boston is losing its essence; its character and its flavor. By death, I am certainly not referencing the rise into 4 to 6 star luxury living at every turn; new construction; prosperity and opportunity galore. I am speaking of the death of Boston as the City was best known and best felt. That Boston feeling is gone, baby, gone.

        Take care / B

        1. Brian: I ‘hear’ you. Our family lived in Amherst in the 70’s before there were hi-rise dorms and traffic lights. It hurts to see how much it has changed. My heart ! However….life is a series of changes We can’t resist these changes because it causes sorrow. Let reality be reality, and let’s allow the changes in Boston to flow forward. We are the ones……the people…… who will retain the “Boston feeling.”

          1. Sounds spot on, and thanks for the nice message. I made a choice to leave Boston; came back for a few months; left again. For me, it’s done. My life aligned with her perfectly for 20 years. Now, I am not feeling it — in more ways than one. I’m writing from an underground bunker in a secret location. Nah, just kidding. But my tastes have gone away from city life, period. Be good.

  2. well, true value is technically a franchise or a chain, so i am sure a lot of people on this site will be happy to see it gone (see peet’s coffee article). hopefully a few unique italian restaurants take over the space.

    1. The truth is, many people are disappointed about their leaving Salem Street. Speak for yourself. And, not another restaurant is needed.

    2. The TRUTH is “truth” that you do not know what the hell you are talking about. Ken and his father had an independent hardware store for decades before they became a True Value store. When I first moved here 30 yrs ago , Ken’s wife had an independent health and beauty aids business on one side of the store. They have been an important part of the North End community probably longer than you have lived here and possibly longer than you have been alive. Maybe you don’t care but they will be missed. Most people who live in this neighborhood are sorry to see him and the store go and wish Ken and his wife the best as they start this next chapter in their lives.

    3. You need to learn a bit more about what a franchise of this kind is before coming up with an opinion like that buddy. Its not a chain and it not owned buy a big company. It was very small local operation

      1. Sarcasm does not translate in print. Pretty sure from truth’s numerous other posts that he/she is not being sarcastic.

  3. So sad to read this… It is a great store and people are super nice and helpful. It seems shops that made North End truly unique and authentic are closing and replaced with generic Pinkberries… 🙁

  4. The Salem Street True Value is more than a hardware store. How many hardware stores sell Bialetti except in the North End? I’ve gone to them for things from closet shelving to cookware to incense sticks. Truly a great loss, and I hope something beneficial to the neighborhood opens in its place.

  5. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! There will really be nothing left in the North End. So sad to hear this news! Good luck Ken.

  6. I am very disappointed that Salem Street Hardware is closing. It was my go to store for everything and there is nothing to replace it in the North End. I would love for a hardware store to replace it. Too bad he couldn’t sell it to someone else.

  7. The store will certainly be missed. I don’t understand why he didn’t just sell the business though, instead of closing it. It’s the only store of its kind in the neighborhood and a necessity for a number of residents, especially those of us without cars. You would think someone new would be willing to take the reins with it. Hopefully something useful moves in. I wish them the best in retirement, but if they sold-out to a restaurant-owner, I have to admit, I’ll have lost some respect.

  8. In the long view the North End has always been changing. Colonials, waves of immigrants, Irish, Jewish, Italian. It has a great history.
    I was lucky enough to live there in the 40’s and 50’s, it was a vibrant community of friendly, caring, working class people with stores to meet every need. Great place to live then as it still is now. Can’t go back but my memories of friends and families who lived there is priceless to me.

  9. We have to hope and pray another hardware store goes in that space. The hardware store on
    Fleet St. does not in anyway shape or form carry the quality of items that Kenny carried.
    I hope to God another restaurant does not go in that space. What a waste of space, if that should
    ever happen.

  10. This store was the essence of Salem Street. My mother bought all her household goods here back in the day when Dave Resnick was the owner. Trust me when I say the quality of merchandise was the best. I still have bath towels my mother purchased over 50 years ago, not one frayed edge.

  11. a couple years ago, i looked at a proposal as an investor for the building to be torn down and replaced with apartments and ground-level retail. i would assume that project is getting closer to happening given this recent news?

  12. Good luck in retirement Ken and thanks for your years of service to the area! I too loved the hardware store, but I’m excited about what the future could bring. Life is full of a series of changes, you can embrace them and hope for the best, or complain and share negative opinions on message boards…

  13. Brian is right!!! Look at what’s happening to the north end. It’s gone down hill so fast since the new generation has taken over. It’s gone forever. When did you ever hear of sexual assaults, robberies, stabbings , muggings, burglaries, trash, drugs, dirty needles all over etc., stores open for a few months , then they’re gone, Years ago, none of these things happened in the North End. It was the people who had respect and took care of one another. You don’t see that anymore. it’s gone forever!! This is what the NEW generation liberals have brought here and all over this country. No one cares about any thing, or anyone but themselves. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like a few more years from now??? I can…I see disaster…Too bad I guess that is what education does !!!

    1. The new generation is your children or grandchildren. Not all bad influences flow in from college students. Is this what educations does? Muggings, drugs, dirty needles. I don’t think so. Did you not see gangs in the streets way back when. Kids got shot. Remember the butcher-he was Spanish-who was shot right through the head because he was having an affair with an Italian wife of someone? Those days were ruthless.

  14. Jamison, You can say whatever you want, but if you did a survey, No. Enders felt a lot safer
    years ago. We did not have locks on front doors, most people kept their apt. doors opened and
    had no fears of robberies or druggies entering their homes. For those of us that still remain in
    the No. End the only improvement I see is most people took pride in their property & beautified it.
    The people you talk about who got shot etc. you play with fire you are going to get burned. Our
    streets are filthy and people who are passing thru and have no intentions of staying in the neighborhood
    could careless about trash rules and regulations. The drug addicts are coming in from other parts of
    the city. Yes we have are own addicts, but I have never seen as many drug addicts as I see now.
    Is this the price one has to pay for living in a prosperous area? Yes, the North End had plenty of
    crime years ago, no doubt about it, but we all felt much safer then, than we do now. I know I am not
    just speaking for myself, I am sure plenty of the people that commented above can attest to that.

    1. well said joan. I totally agree. people from anywhere else other than a small neighborhood would never understand.

    2. There are studies out there: students who study and prepare for jobs regarding demographics. ‘Engineers and surveys, etc. One does NOT need to live in a small neighborhood to understand the dynamics. I know you mean well, but I am not so sure you understand the depth and breadth of research that is done in the world.

      1. No disrespect but I stand by my response. a survey does not put you in the actual life situation. you cannot replicate it through a survey. you can teach people in a classroom all you want, it’s not the same.

  15. You people are crazy… You are all against chains, outsiders, college kids, and anyone else.. Yet when a north end person wants to open a business everyone complains about noise, liquor licenses, and what they see out their window…. Keep up with this attitude and the north end will be all chains

  16. honestly I found true values prices to be way to expensive. The prices for salt this past winter was almost insulting. Believe me I try to support the small local business probably more than the average joe, but the price they were charging for ice melt and salt this past winter was a slap in the face. left a poor taste in my mouth.

    1. the salt he was selling was to melt ice, not to cook with. no wonder you had a bad taste in your mouth..

  17. The store was sold and financing fell through. Margins to make $ very small in hardware business. Rents so high make impossible to survive. Must be high traffic place to survive.

  18. All the best Ken. I found your staff always helpful and knowledgeable. They were like walking encyclopedia; knew the products and what to use for what purpose allowing me to get in and out in 10 minutes. I will miss them. And yes, we don’t need another restaurant. NN

  19. What a loss! The people in this store were very helpful and always went the extra mile. I could count on them to have what I needed and help me solve problems.

    I dread to think about shopping at a store like Home Depot or Lowes.

    The entire area is losing a major asset.

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