- READER REVIEWS
Beacon Paint & Hardware
Mon-Fri, 7:30am-6pm; Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun, 11am-5pm
Nearby Subway Stops
1 at 79th St.; B, C at 81st St.-Museum of Natural History
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Owned and operated by the Stark family since 1971, Beacon is an Upper West Side hardware store with a distinctly local vibe. Brother proprietors Steven and Bruce also live on the UWS, and when they’re not managing the business, they’re giving back to the community by donating lighting equipment to public-school events, sponsoring charity walkathons, and helping to paint over graffiti on hydrants and mailboxes. The Starks’ ecological track record is just as impressive as their community-service one: Beacon stocks and recycles energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs and is the metro area’s top retailer of Aura, Benjamin Moore’s line of environmentally friendly paint, which contains minimal amounts of volatile chemicals. A huge range of standard B.M. paints is also available: The swatches take up nearly a quarter of the store’s wall space. The rest of the store’s plumbing, electrical, and home-repair items are organized in easy-to-navigate plastic drawers within departments manned by a knowledgeable staff. Pet owners can bring in their pooches for a complimentary biscuit or to socialize with the store mascot, Bru, a female black Lab that Steven affectionately (if a bit oddly) named after his brother.