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Best Hardware Store

  • Nuthouse Hardware

    202 E. 29th St., nr. Third Ave.; 212-545-1447

    You need two principal things in a hardware store. The first is comprehensive selection, and Nuthouse certainly has that. It sprawls over three floors plus the basement of a sizable four-story building, and stocks not only the usual bolts and springs and electrical cable but also hard-to-find plumbing valves and specialized tools and such. The cheerful if occasionally eccentric staff will cut lumber to size; they’ll mix paint colors to order. The housewares section noses into upscale-department-store territory, with cheery polka-dotted kitchen accessories and Le Creuset enameled cookware. Yes, you can get a lot of that stuff elsewhere—which brings us to the second thing you need in a hardware store: access to their stuff at any hour. Nuthouse Hardware is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, which means that when the aforementioned hard-to-find plumbing valve breaks in the middle of the night, this place is the only game in town.

From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).