On August 11, Linden Hills will be celebrating with Bob Bayers. Only, the "unofficial mayor of Linden Hills" won't be fȇting the launch of some new civic venture like the —he'll be retiring after 45 years at his store.
After 89 years in Linden Hills, hardware store will close its doors on Sept. 1, after a lengthy sale beginning Thursday July 26. In an email, Bayers told Patch that he will have a retirement party at the store on Aug. 11.
The cause is easy for anyone in Linden Hills to guess. Last year, Mark Settergren bought the old Linden Hills Co-Op building and of his Fulton hardware store, in the space. At around twice the size, many questioned whether could share the same market with Bayers' family-owned hardware store. Both families have been in the same business for nearly 90 years.
"Before we made our bid (on the space), two other commercial hardware chains had made bids on the space. When we heard this was going to be a hardware store, it was a simple business decision," Settergren said in November, after completing the move. "We have a lot of regular customers from Linden Hills, and we didn't want to loose them."
Rumors of tension swirled around Bayers and Settergren, athough both men publicly said—sometimes through gritted teeth—they wanted to burry the hatchet.
To try and compete, Bayers reorganized his store and , a convenience store-like addition with milk, fresh fruit, soda, chips, and other groceries. Shortly after it opened, Bayers told Patch that the addition was already quite popular among Linden Hills residents who missed having the Co-op just around the corner.
But after a mild winter deprived his store of much-needed revenue from shovels, ice melt, and the like, Bayers told Patch that even The Pantry wasn't enough to keep his doors open.
Bayers and his ex-wife own the building and the land, and either sell the property or lease it to a new store after September, he told Patch.
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