A Queens hardware store that’s been an Astoria staple since 1955 will close up at the end of the month, a victim of declining business in the evolving neighborhood.
Owner Tommy Orama, 58, bought Square Hardware in 2000 after working in the Ditmars Blvd. shop for 20 years.
“No matter how bad business is, the rent doesn’t go down,” said Orama, who operates the store by himself after slowly downsizing his four-person staff.
The combination of a looming hip replacement and the expiration of his lease convinced Orama that now was the time to move on.
“I can’t do six days a week as comfortable as I used to,” he said.
Orama says he’s marveled as the formerly working-class area of homeowners has transitioned to a population of new Queens residents, who often rent apartments and don’t need as many things to fix up their homes.