Need some house paint, garden tools to spruce up the yard, or a spare key made? Rockaway is finally getting its hardware store back. After longtime establishment, Brown’s Hardware was sold and closed last August, Mazzone Ace Hardware is set to open in its place next week.
At the end of last summer, Brown’s Hardware owner Elizabeth Hanna announced that the store had been sold, but it was going to be in good hands. Mazzone Hardware, a longtime family business based in Brooklyn, is ready to open their new Rockaway location (245 Beach 116th Street) on Monday or Tuesday of next week, according to new owner, Matt Mazzone. “We’re really looking forward to opening and being a part of this community,” Mazzone said.
Mazzone Hardware’s long-running history shows they must be doing something right. The business started back in 1950 when Salvatore Mazzone opened his first store on Court Street in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn. By the 1960s, he purchased an even larger location at 470 Court Street, where the original Mazzone Hardware still operates. Just five years ago, they opened their second location in Cobble Hill. Now they’re expanding to Rockaway, taking over the old Browns Hardware on Beach 116th.
Even though Mazzone is new to Rockaway, the family had a longtime connection to the former owners of Browns. Mazzone said he knew the later Noni Signoretti, who co-owned the store with her cousin, Hanna, quite well. Signoretti passed away in October 2015. “When she passed, it really hit home for me,” Mazzone said. The loss of her business partner also deeply affected Hanna. “Liz contacted us about looking to sell and she wanted to make sure the store went to a community-oriented business that would do a good job. Being able to take over the store was really an honor for us because of the relationship I had with Noni and Liz over the years. We wanted to make them proud and have a nice store to represent them well.”
Over the past few months, Mazzone has done a complete overhaul of Browns, giving the store a completely new, modern look, making it unrecognizable. Some of the stock will also be new to the community. “The store is coming along really well. They’re going to be some great things out here that people have never seen before, some great brands they haven’t been exposed to,” Mazzone said, adding that having brands like Ace Hardware and Benjamin Moore Paint as partners allows them to do more. “There’s going to be a lot more name brand products and a lot more variety of products in a clean, organized location.” The store will be fully stocked with a variety of hardware items, but Mazzone expects some of the big sellers in the store to be things like paint, which they’ll have a huge selection of, plus outdoor items like Big Green Egg grills and lawn and garden products. There will also be a key machine with wider capabilities than what Browns had offered.
While much will be different, there will be some familiar faces behind the counters and in the aisles. Hanna herself will still be working at the store, along with much of the former staff. “The previous owner was really concerned about the staff losing employment when the store closed, so we kept most of the staff and hired a few additional people. Just about everyone is local, with the exception of the manager,” Mazzone said.
As Browns was a big supporter of the community, Mazzone plans to do the same. The business has long been active in their local Brooklyn communities. “Two things we’re heavily involved in is this charity called the Children’s Miracle Network, which is supported by Ace Corporate. Through the charity, money is raised to go to local children’s hospitals around the community. The second is community events. We do a whole host of community events in Carroll Gardens like a pumpkin fest, a tree lighting and Veterans and Memorial Day events, and we’re certainly looking to get involved in some of the events that are out here in Rockaway. We plan to be a part of these events, one way or another and do what we can to supports these things and be a part of the community,” Mazzone said.
Mazzone says the store is a much-needed addition and community support has already been strong. “I didn’t realize how bad the community needed this until I was out here working on the store and I forgot some supplies and there was nowhere to really go to get them. Places like Breezy Point Hardware are nice, but this will bring even more options to the peninsula,” he said. Residents are already looking forward to the opening. “I can’t stand outside for more than five minutes without someone coming up and wishing us well and asking when we’re going to be open.”
Mazzone is looking forward to it as well. “We’re excited to be here and offer some great items and brands. I want to thank everyone because people have been so gracious and helpful and we’re really looking forward to being a part of the community,” he said.
As they work on the finishing touches this weekend, Mazzone Ace Hardware is expected to be open on Monday or Tuesday. The hours will be Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The old Browns phone number will remain the same: 718-945-5669. Check out mazzonehardware.com for more info.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS