A Best of the Bay favorite is set to close; another winner moves

St. Pete Beach Hardware is closing this week, and that's sad news for fans of old-fashioned hardware stores. That includes us: Creative Loafing named it the area's "Best Old-Fashioned Hardware Store" in the Best of the Bay issue of 2006. Our description of the place from 2006 still rings true:

Whether you’re in search of major DIY gear or just need a single nut of a certain size, the helpful staff here will know exactly where to find it and whether it’ll suit your needs. The down-home customer service isn’t the only thing that provokes nostalgia; this place also smells exactly like all hardware stores used to smell. What is it? Sawdust? Turpentine? Whatever it is, it smells like home … improvement.

The store, which is located at 320 75th Ave. in St. Pete Beach, is closing for business this Friday. The faltering economy is the reason, says owner Elaine Tyska: "Some things you just find very difficult to fight." She's hoping to sell as much of her inventory as possible before she closes, so hurry down for some bargains — and to say goodbye.

Another note on a 2006 Best of the Bay winner: The snazzy furniture and design store Being, which we named "Best Home Store for When You've Overgrown Pier 1," is moving from Baywalk next month to a location closer to its Old Northeast customer base at 1575 Fourth St. N. The move is another blow to Baywalk, leaving one less reason to make the shopping complex a destination.