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Iconic Store Shutters

Legendary River Oaks store closing for good after nearly 70 years: An era of fighting the big box stores ends

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Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014
A full-store liquidation begins Thursday. Buffalo Hardware/Facebook
Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014 tools
After nearly 70 years in business, a legendary Buffalo Hardware is closing its doors. Buffalo Hardware/Facebook
Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014 stainless pots
The neighborhood institution staved of decades of big box competition with an extensive line of cookware. Buffalo Hardware/Facebook
Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014 cookbooks
Merchandise will be marked down 10 to 59 percent. Buffalo Hardware/Facebook
Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014
Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014 tools
Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014 stainless pots
Buffalo Hardware Houston closing February 2014 cookbooks
Buffalo Hardware Company
Get Directions - 2614 Westheimer Houston

After nearly 70 years in business, a legendary River Oaks hardware store is closing its doors.

Harry Truman sat in the White House as Frank Sinatra topped the charts in 1946 when Buffalo Hardware first opened shop in the Avalon Center at Kirby and Westheimer.

Fresh from a stint in the navy during World War II, Richard Brown purchased the store in 1948, quickly transformed it into a neighborhood institution thanks to an uncanny ability to help customers through house projects great and small.

 "The only family members that may have any interest are still in high school. And I’m ready to retire." 

"We haven’t changed too much," owner Jim Brown, who took the reigns after his father died in 2001, tells KHOU Channel 11. "We’re still an old-fashioned hardware store. We sell nails by the pound. We have screws, one at a time."

With a stock that included high-end cookware as well as table saws, Buffalo Hardware managed to stave off decades of competition from big box chains like Lowes and Home Depot. But after several unsuccessful attempts to sell the business, the 65-year-old Brown has decided to throw in the towel.

"The only family members that may have any interest are still in high school," he explains. "And I’m ready to retire."

The store has spent the week preparing for a liquidation sale that begins Thursday morning.

"What’s going to hit me is when all of this stuff is gone and we’re sweeping the floor before turning it back to the landlord," Brown says, choking back the tears. "I think that’s going to be a day that . . . I’m not sure how it’s going to work."

Watch the KHOU Ch. 11 report:

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