Brookside plans for new store by summer

Store running in temporary quarters after March 5 fire

By Brian Sweeney
The owner of Brookside Hardware in Margaretville, which was destroyed by fire on March 5, hopes a new store will be operational in a few months.
Will Finch told the News this week that he is awaiting signed building plans from an architect for a new store and warehouse. He said he has a contractor lined up and is hopeful that the new buildings can be completed in about 60 days. Even if that timeline is not met, “it will definitely be done this summer.”
Mr. Finch said the store will be about 3,500 square feet and the warehouse will provide over 1,600 square feet of storage. The new buildings will be located on higher ground than the previous structure, essentially utilizing the section near Route 28 that serves as the primary car lot.
In addition, work is underway to reconstruct the section of the original building that was used as a garage for automobile and equipment repairs. Mr. Finch said that most of the block walls of the garage survived the fire and work has begun to install new blocks where needed. He expects work on the garage roof to begin this week.
The new buildings, plus the renovated garage, will actually provide a bit more square footage than was previously available. The old structure covered around 10,000 square feet, but that included space for a number of apartments.
The fire ripped through the wooden portion of Brookside Hardware in less than an hour. More than 100 firefighters from a dozen departments fought the devastating blaze.
Mr. Finch spent several hours at Margaretville Memorial Hospital for stress-related symptoms during the fire, but was back on the job the following morning. In fact, he sold a car by about 7 a.m. The pace has continued to be brisk since then.
The Brookside owner said he sold 10 vehicles last week, five more this week with several other deals pending.
“Everything is going fine – we’re busy. The car business has been gangbusters,” he noted.
In addition to vehicle sales, Brookside has brought in several trailers for storing items such as animal feed and landscape supplies.
Mr. Finch said that once the new building is up, Brookside plans to carry all of the goods that were previously offered, including a complete line of hardware and plumbing products.
Several employees have been working on a part-time basis with the full staff expected back when Brookside is fully operational.
Mr. Finch said that despite not yet having a full line of products, the company has been holding regular hours and Brookside has been quite busy.