50 years on 5th! Joe Leopoldi told us the family story of the store, which we have shared below:
Joe and Flo spent many hours a day working in the luncheonette. Joe had a strong, independent, entrepreneurial spirit and saw an opportunity when Fazio Hardware at 415 5th Avenue went up for sale. He was a strong believer in the American ideal of free enterprise. He wanted to be his own boss. He bought the hardware store and closed the luncheonette. The store kept it's old fashioned, "real hardware store" feel with it's old ceiling fans, little wooden drawers in the wall, old wooden counter and squeaky floor. An avid gardener himself, Joe felt it was important to have a well stocked garden department, in addition to a well-stocked houseware and appliance section in the store. Joe played his favorite music, 1940's "swing" on the radio.
The store survive the tough 1970's when the City went through a financial crisis. Over the years, Joe had his children help out at the store doing jobs like sweeping, breaking up boxes, washing windows, stocking shelves. He felt it was important for his children to grow up with a strong work ethic. As the years went by, the kids had more important roles in the store. Joe Leopoldi died in 1989. His sons continued his legacy, and continued to keep the hardware store running strong with the help of their children, even after the big box stores opened up in Brooklyn. Leopoldo Hardware remains a place where customers go for personal, friendly service.
Head down to the store this Saturday and Sunday and celebrate 50 amazing years of serving and supporting the Park Slope community on #theother5th. Thank you Leopoldi Family!