Hometown Brew and Ribs
Chelsea Village Hardware closed in early January after eleven years in business, and seventy-three years after a Gambles store first started selling hardware in the same Main Street storefront. Owners Tom and Pattie Clemons taped a sign to the door thanking customers for their "support through the years." Products were stocked on the shelves and riding mowers were still on display in the front windows in mid-February, but the business's phone just rang and rang. "The loss is obvious to our community," says Bob Pierce, executive director of the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce. "I hope this is a wake-up call about how important it is to support our local businesses."
The Martins opened the Gambles franchise in 1940. Seven years later, George and Carl Elkins and Ruby and Wes Howes bought the business, continuing the affiliation with Gambles. Sam and Joyce Johnson eventually purchased the business after serving as part owners. In the 1970s the store was affiliated with Our Own Hardware; in the 1980s it was Johnson's How To; and since 2001 it's been Chelsea Village Hardware.
Pierce notes that "on the positive side, it's one of the few vacancies we have downtown right now." He says there's already interest in the property.