Call it “Variety Wars,” or just a natural business move, but the folks at Strosniders Hardware are taking over the next-door former space of Bruce Variety, which is getting ready to open in a new location across town on Woodmont Avenue.
“When we lost Bruce’s, the shopping center lost an icon in the community. We felt basically we need to kind of control that situation and bring on another business similar,” said Stronsiders general manager Bill Hart, who hopes to open Bradley Party & Variety in early May. “I think what we’ll find is, we’re not going to know exactly what to carry at first but we’re going to try our best and listen to customers and kind of have them help us figure out our way.”
Strosniders (6930 Arlington Rd.) is celebrating 60 years of business in the Bradley Shopping Center. Bruce Variety, its next-door neighbor for all of that time, closed up shop in January to the dismay of many who said they relied on the shop for arts, crafts, fabrics and quirky items you didn’t know stores sold.
The owners of Bruce Variety blamed a high rent for the closing of the store, which even elicited a petition from customers asking the Bradley Shopping Center owners to reconsider.
Bruce Variety then announced it would be taking over the former Creative Parties Ltd. space at 8011 Woodmont Ave. with a March 1 opening. But the opening has been delayed.
Meanwhile, the Strosniders group has put a banner up in Bruce Variety’s former space announcing the arrival of a party store with a similar name. Renovations are ongoing inside.
“Everything was hearsay. Nobody knew exactly what was going on,” said Hart when asked if he knew Bruce Variety was reopening in a new location. “But we knew somebody was going to go in here and if it wasn’t us, then it could be a competitor. So we figured it was best for us to kind of capture that opportunity.”
Hart envisions a store similar to Bruce Variety, focused on party goods with arts, crafts and fabrics that will compliment the hardware store.
“It gives us a chance to kind of expand in some areas we know we do well with in here and there’s a captive market for, but we just don’t have the room,” Hart said.