Frager’s to pop up in temporary spot

A worker in the garden center at Frager\'s Hardware Store hugs five-year-old Joann Kolodziejczyk, who brought cupcakes to the Frager\'s employees, as mother Susan Kolodziejczyk looks on. The garden center will reopen in a temporary location on Sunday. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WASHINGTON – Will a historic hardware store that was gutted by a fire be rebuilt?

Reality is setting in for residents that an institution in a Capitol Hill neighborhood is gone – Frager’s Hardware store on Pennsylvania Avenue burned down on Wednesday evening.

But beginning Sunday, a temporary location, known as a pop-up shop, is scheduled to open across the street from the Eastern Market.

Kristin Sampson, who works in the store’s garden center, says not all was lost in the fire: Most of the garden center survived, she says; all the plants and pottery made it. She says they they’re moving a ton of inventory to the new site.

Saturday was moving day; staff was loading trucks and moving the garden center to the new location. The ribbon-cutting for the temporary location is scheduled for Sunday.

Sampson says, “We’re starting off with a ribbon cutting with the mayor at noon and we’re open for business after that.”

She says they are looking at temporary locations for other departments of the store, adding that “We’ve had incredible support from the community on offers of space.” But right now that’s a work in progress.

Carolyn Fidelman lives near Frager’s. On Saturday, she was taking pictures of the charred building.

“Actually the walls are still there,” she says. On Wednesday night, she was at a Nats game with a friend when they saw a plume of smoke and wondered what was burning. Through a tweet she learned that it was Frager’s. She says,” This is just more than a hardware store.”

She’s hopeful that it can be rebuilt. She pleads, “Please, please, please. That would be wonderful, if they can save it, if they can try to rebuild it.”

Sampson says, “The big picture at this point is, the intent is to absolutely rebuild.” There’s still no word on what caused the fire.

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