It’s official. I have a favorite Louisville hardware store. I’m sure you’ve seen it - the romantic looking parking lot full of things I can’t name without a book, and the small store full of windows packed with gardening pots and tools. It sits across from Coco’s Roots/Heart & Soy restaurants, perfect on the corner of Bardstown Road and Patterson Ave. The name: Keith’s Hardware.
Keith’s Hardware is a typical hardware store… Or IS it? I officially love shopping here because the man who helped me today was to-the-point and kind. At other hardware stores in town, I’ve dealt with all sorts of uncomfortable things, like a drunk cashier, teenagers who don’t know what I want, strange dudes my age who want to flirt even though they see my wedding ring, and a slew of angry chicks who hate helping PERIOD. I’m over those stores - I’m even over their proximity to my house.
Let me explain today’s sweet hardware store moment:
Recently, my myata is going through a tough time. It’s my month for flat tires, I guess. So, I just got my front tire fixed for the 2nd time in less than a month, and my summer goal is to bike everywhere I can. Today, I was running errands, and I rode to Keith’s for some specific washers for my dryer. I get timid in hardware stores because it’s the only place where I feel like a true girly-girl… What I mean is, I don’t know what anything is called and I react to this feeling of helplessness by shaking my ponytail and smiling too much. A man at the counter at Keith’s quietly, yet gruffly, led me to the back of the store for what I needed and I shyly thanked him.
“I also need to bring my lawnmower in for repair. The pull rope broke off,” I said nervously.
“What kind of mower is it?” he asked.
“Uhhh… I don’t know? Um…” I said.
“Well, I can’t give you a quote with a clear conscience until I know exactly what needs to be fixed,” he replied matter-of-factly.
“Well… I will go home and check what kind it is, and then I will call you and ask,” I said with a small, hopeful smile.
This answer pleased him, and he rung me up for 68 cents (of course I’m annoying and only had a $20, to which he replied, “Don’t worry, we take all money.”) and I went on my merry way carrying this interesting transaction dynamic with me. This guy was my father’s doppelganger.
As I left the store, I realized my front fender was coming off, but I wasn’t sure what screw I needed. I walked back into the store, and my gruff/quiet/dad helper looked at me with a quizzical smile.
“Do you need something else?” he asked.
“Yeah… I need some bike help…” I said a I wrinkled my nose and gave him an awkward smile.
In the heat, this sweet guy got me a new screw, put my fender back on, gave my whole bike a look-see, and said, “That should do it.”
“What do I owe you?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said and turned his back to walk back into the store.
“Nothing? Well… I sure do appreciate it, but I need to give you something,” I trailed after him. He turned around.
“Nah… You just have a nice day,” he said with an awkward pause.
I wanted to hug this guy. Seriously. And because of this, I will always go back to Keith’s hardware. Even if I never see this kind man again, this is going to be my store for any hardware need. You should go there. Because it’s awesome.
1201 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204502-451-3133