By Sabina Mollot
After 25 years in business, Town & Village Hardware will be closing at the end of June.
One of the shop’s two owners, Ukraine-born Peter Bergida, said he’s turning 69 and plans to retire as does his partner Dave Sidoti.
A sign now hanging in the storefront says Town & Village is teaming up with H. Brickman & Sons Ace hardware across the avenue in Stuyvesant Town. However, this is only temporary. Bergida explained that he and Sidoti will be working at the other store, a family-owned franchise, over the summer to answer customers’ questions.
“We’ll work there maybe for a month or two to help people in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village,” said Bergida. “We’ve been here for 25 years so we know what they need.”
And then, unless something changes, it’s on to retirement.
“It’s time,” said Bergida, who’s a man of few words when not called upon to answer questions about how to install and otherwise use the items that line his shelves. He plans to spend more time with his five grandchildren. Maybe travel too.
Bergida, who came to this country four decades ago, opened the business with Sidoti after Bergida worked for a hardware store on First Avenue called Coopertown (now Brickman’s space). After 10 years, the owner became ill and died, and Bergida and Sidoti, who helped out sometimes at Coopertown, opened their own hardware store. At first it was located on East 18th Street, west of First Avenue. They were there five years before the owners found a bigger space on the west side of First Avenue at 20th Street.
“We started from scratch,” recalled Bergida.
Since then, the store has steadily sold items like light bulbs, screens and ceiling fans to neighbors. Competition from Amazon has dipped into their sales, but for the most part, Bergida said T&V’s customers have been loyal. And apparently, upon seeing the sign about the owners’ impending retirement, shocked.
“People see the sign and say, ‘why, why?’” said Bergida. “They’re not happy.”
Bergida, who takes the subway to work from his home in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood, said the store will be closing at the end of June. He doesn’t know if the landlord has a plan for Town & Village’s space.
The sign out front asks the community to “always support the PCVST community small businesses,” including Brickman, where Bergida and Sidoti will be starting in July.