Customers enjoy the July 3 Opening Day at the new Ace Hardware store on Fair Oaks Avenue, on the site of the former Orchard Supply Hardware. Photos by Sally Kilby

According to some residents, the community lost a vital lifeline with the closing of South Pasadena’s Orchard Supply Hardware store, known simply as OSH, last November.

The Colorado Boulevard OSH in Pasadena closed then, as well. And the small Ace Hardware on Fair Oaks Avenue, just above the 210 freeway, had also shuttered.

Many area residents were upset and extremely frustrated. Some chose to trek to Alhambra’s Home Depot or to smaller hardware stores miles away.

So they eagerly awaited the announced opening of an Ace Hardware store at the former OSH site.

Wednesday, their wait ended.

“We’ve been in trouble,” said Bob Bunn, who with his wife Ardis was among the South Pasadena Ace Hardware’s first customers at its soft opening July 3.

“My husband dropped by here a few days ago,” said Ardis Bunn, “and he found out when it was opening.”

“At last!” she added. “It’s been so hard going to Home Depot.”

South Pasadena resident John McDonald said at the opening that he’d already been to the Alhambra Home Depot that day. When he returned home before 9 a.m., a neighbor called out to him.

“The Ace is open in South Pasadena,” the neighbor said.

“I drove right over,” McDonald said, “and I’m buying something else here to rid mosquitos on our street.”

Everyone interviewed was thrilled with the Ace Hardware chain’s store opening in town.

“The selection is wonderful,” Carol Koch said. “They even have items that OSH didn’t have.” She and her husband Steve were examining small hardware items in bins.

Ardis Bunn said that even her ladies lunch group of retired teachers had talked about how much they had been looking forward to the store’s opening.

South Pasadena resident Eileen Phillips said she found out about the opening on Facebook. She and her husband had just finished having breakfast at Bristol Farms nearby, so they decided to visit Ace. “We’re so happy,” she said. She was shopping in the garden store.

Hardware associate Joe Ortiz, who worked at the Pasadena OSH, said of Ace, “This store puts customers over everything else. Customer service is A-number-1. If you’re not happy, we’re not happy.”

Store manager Carlos Andrade, who had worked at OSH for 25 years, said, “It’s good to see everybody. I am blessed to be part of this company. It’s all about the people.”

He said the store will involve itself with the community, as well. An Ace van was scheduled to ride in the Festival of Balloons July 4th parade.

The Nuts and Bolts of the New Store

  • Store Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

  • Sign up for Ace Rewards at the cashier: Points are accrued for every dollar spent. In addition, there are exclusive member-only offers, according to the Ace Hardware website.

  • Save the Date: Aug. 30 Grand Opening. Celebration will include face painting, a pet clinic, and more.

  • On the shelves: Ace carries all the inventory that OSH carried, but it is rearranged.

  • What’s new: An expanded pet supplies section, including premium pet food, birdhouses, toys, pet beds and treats. Dogs are welcome in the store.

  • Also new: Camping supplies such as tents and sleeping bags.

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Sally Kilby, a South Pasadena resident, was City Clerk 2000-2013. Prior to that, she worked in health care as a nurse, medical librarian, advertising copywriter, writer and journal editor. She is involved in various community organizations. Her two grown children attended South Pasadena schools and work at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

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