Deck’s Hardware, Ambler Main Street staple for 100+ years, has closed for good

Deck’s Hardware, an Ambler Main Street staple for more than a century, closed its doors for good on December 23.

The family-owned hardware store was founded by Garnett M. Deck in 1908. 

“The store itself is actually a conglomeration of buildings, the centerpiece of which dates to 1875. The other interconnected sections of the store include a former stable that wasn’t added until later,” Hidden City Philadelphia wrote earlier this year.

It was most recently owned by Tyler and Tim Deck. Tyler passed away in April.

The store was named Philly Voice’s Best Suburban Hardware Store in 2011. From their description:

The anti-Lowe’s. The staff at this rambling, pleasantly dusty hardware shop take the time to discuss whether you need turkey wire or chicken wire to bolster your fence, and prices are rock-bottom. shared the following about Deck’s Hardware:

Sure, there are cars in the parking lot, but you can–if you squint and imagine just a little–easily see the days of horse-drawn carts clopping up from the train tracks just down the hill on dirt roads bringing to the exactly like they were in 1908 shelves and boxes throughout this amazingly charming, useful corner of the world.

The Deck family’s announcement brought forth a host of memories and notes of appreciation from the community.

Examples include:

The absolute best shop in Ambler and the best small business,in my opinion, anywhere!! Great memories of going to Deck’s with my dad and sometimes with both my dad and mom—she had been going there since HER childhood in the 1930s-40s. I have my own memories dating back to the late 1960s. Thankfully, my Pop and I were able to visit one last time this past October. Thank you guys for your excellent service over the years. I will miss coming into that space and walking on those original plank wood floors, the scent of the shop…and the amazing finds. A classic hardware store that can’t be replicated. All the best to the crew!!! 

Am shedding a tear just now after hearing this news for many reasons. Having grown up in the community & going to the store on a regular basis as a kid I was fascinated with everything about the business from all of the nooks & crannies to everything that was organized & stuffed into every possible part of the spaces. Even more amazing was how most of the employees knew how to find the most obscure item that you requested. The customer service was unparalleled and was the epitome of how family businesses survived & thrived up until the era of the introduction of the big box stores when so many mom & pop businesses were forced to close or move to the outskirts of town. Although I moved from the area in the late 70s, I always made a point to stop in whenever visiting & often would describe the store to others unfamiliar with it as an example of a business that didn’t get swallowed up by a corporate chain & remained relatively the same over the last century! I wish all the best to the Deck family & devoted employees as this next chapter of your lives unfolds. My memories of growing up near Ambler & specifically being in Deck’s Hardware will remain with me forever!

I grew up in Ambler, and Deck’s was a mainstay. I’m 74, and haven’t lived in town since 1971, but when I was a child, my dad was in there almost every Saturday morning. It seemed he needed SOMETHING weekly for whatever household projects he had going. I occasionally came with him and remember the atmosphere — even the “smell of hardware” and the sound of my shoes on the floor! I’m sad it’s closing — small hardware businesses are becoming fewer as the big box stores and Amazon online ordering take hold. But I wish you all the very best and understand your decision. 115 years is a major milestone!

From Deck’s Hardware’s Facebook post:

It is with extremely heavy hearts, that today is our last day open for business.
This decision was not made lightly but feel it is best for our family moving forward.
It’s been a pleasure serving you, the residents of Ambler and surrounding areas for the past 115 years.
Whether or not you’ve been in our store once or several times we hope you have fond memories and ask that you share them below.
Thank you for your continued support throughout the years. 115 is a huge accomplishment and we are proud to be a part of such an amazing community.
Only time will tell what will happen with the building, but we hope you will continue to walk by and reminisce about Deck’s.

Sherri Quittner Deck
Tim Deck
Virginia Deck
Jacquelyn Deck Adornetto
Christina Harrigan
Lindsey Deck Thornton
Steve Deck
Jonathan Deck

Photos: Anita Behrman