Frager’s makes a partial new start

WASHINGTON – From the ashes of Wednesday’s devastating fire, Frager’s Hardware, on Capitol Hill, has taken the first few steps to getting back in business.

You can’t get a key made – not yet anyway – but four days after the fire, Frager’s is again ringing up sales, selling potted plants that survived the fire.

The city is providing outdoor space for the popular hardware store at 7th and C Streets SE near Eastern Market.

“Frager’s is open for business today!” proclaimed D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to the cheers of neighbors as he cut a green ribbon in a mid-day ceremony.

“It is amazing that the city was able to give us this space for a while, just to have this, so we can get some income,” says John Weintraub, who has owned Frager’s since 1975. The store has been in business since 1920.

Weintraub says he plans to rebuild the beloved hardware store that Capitol Hill residents call an institution.

In addition, the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, a 25-year old volunteer organization has raised more than $74,000 dollars since Wednesday’s fire.

Nicky Cymrot, the group’s president, says the money could be used to tide over Frager’s employees knocked out of work and 5 other businesses damaged by the fire.

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