Livermore will again have a midsize hardware store in town as a new Ace Hardware location is set to open this spring, replacing the Orchard Supply that closed in 2018 and has remained empty until now.
Renovation of the building located at 1450 First St. is currently underway with a soft-opening set for April 16, according to the store's general manager Eric Evensen, who also managed the store when it was Orchard Supply.
Kansas-based company Westlake Ace Hardware has been expanding throughout California since 2019, opening 12 stores in the state formerly occupied by Orchard Supply in Chico, Fresno, La Crescenta, Mountain View, Pinole, South Pasadena, Thousand Oaks, Turlock, Van Nuys, West Los Angeles, Woodland and now Livermore.
Evensen, who has been running the Pinole Ace location since Orchard Supply closed, said that returning to Livermore feels like a full circle moment.
"When I closed this building down, I knew there were some things going on behind the scenes -- some spinoff companies and so on -- and I was kind of like General (Douglas) MacArthur saying, 'I shall return!' But it was tough closing this building down with a great crew, great community, great town, very well received, very well liked by the town, so it hurt -- especially after 32 years with the company -- but it hurt this being my last store," he said.
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