Everything, but groceries

If you have ever visited Charlotte, NC and never wandered into Blackhawk Hardware, you’ve “missed school, missed out.”

The word “hardware” is deceiving. Oh, you’ll find nuts and bolts and lightbulbs and switches, but those aren’t my favorite parts. My favorite parts are everything else.

Blackhawk Hardware is a modern version of an ole time general store. There, you’ll find everything, but groceries.

Every now and then, I’ll veer over to Blackhawk when I’m driving through Charlotte. My last trip was double the fun. I visited my friend Toni and checked in at the hardware store.

First, we feasted on omelets and crepes at The Famous Toastery (best fresh-squeezed orange juice ever, by the way). Then, I said, “Hey.”

“Hey,” said Toni.

“Wanna go to Blackhawk Hardware?”

“Yes!” said my friend—no hesitation.

Now, who does that? I mean, are there two women in the world who choose to go to a hardware store in a city that’s full of shops and boutiques and has a mall the size of a castle?

I’m talking about chicks who are not in need of hardware. Yes, there are at least two of us, and, though I’m not a betting person, I’d bet there are many more just like us.

“What’s makes this hardware store 100 steps above the rest,” you ask?

Inside its double doors are rows and rows of cards and an inhouse coffee bar. I don’t care about coffee, but aisles of greeting cards draw me in. Toni probably thought I’d never get past them.

The place has party supplies—good ones. It also carries dishes, glassware, trendy placemats, and Blenko. You know I’m not exaggerating about my love for a hardware store when it stocks WV Blenko glass.

I won’t attempt to list the entire inventory, but a few treasures jumped into my cart. I needed a pasta fork/server—got one. I’ve been looking for a spoon rest. The one I bought also accommodates soup ladles.

I picked up a lighted make-up mirror that adheres to my bathroom mirror. It’s a thing I needed, but did not want. Those darn mirrors that are lighted AND magnified tell me the awful truth every morning.

On the upside, maybe my new mirror will help me do a better job hiding the awful truth from everyone else. I hope so.

I almost picked up a cool magnetic phone mount for my car. But I already have a “not as cool, but does the job” magnetic car mount, so I left the cool one for someone else.

And, of course, I bought cards—less than 10, but more than five. That’s on the conservative side of greeting card shopping for me.

Blackhawk also boasts an “Aisle of Death” (Pest Control, Weed Killer, and Bug Killer) and an “Aisle of Life” (Garden Supplies, Grass Seed, and Fertilizers). Yes, those two aisle signs read just as I typed them. Not kidding.

Signs like those would get Gary’s attention. My husband does not shop. The only three stores he frequents are used bookshops, coffeehouses, and Lowe’s—not in any particular order—and I’m not certain coffeehouses count.

Only in my childhood did hardware stores rank high on my list. That’s where we got our Flexible Flyers. Yes, Blackhawk carries the famous sled—another reason the store charms me.

It is also the one spot where Gary and I could shop together and both enjoy the experience. OK. I guess we would walk into the store together. Then, he would go his way, and I’d go mine.

But I’d be sure to meet him checkout queue—that’s the secret to using his wallet instead of mine.

Gary has yet to meet my favorite Charlotte hardware store. It may be a tough sell at first, but sell I will—and then buy.

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