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Bayers Hardware To Close Sept. 1

Bayers out-competed by Settergrens Hardware

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.

Will you miss Bayers' store? Share your story in the comments section, below.

James Sanna (Editor) July 24, 2012 at 04:40 PM
One poster on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/SouthwestMinneapolisPatch/posts/425873247455757) had this to say: "This whole thing was hard because Bob Bayers is a lifelong friend and my nephew works at Settergrens and you kind of knew only one would survive. Bob is a good man with a big heart. He put on a concert every year as a rememberance of the victims of 9/11. I wish him lots of happiness in whatever retirement brings him."
C A Maloney July 25, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I grew up in one of the most historic homes in Linden Hills. I remember with great enthusiasm going to BAYERS Hardware store with my Dad or Mom to find a part or a supply of something he needed to make a hoe repair. I loved going there, Especially coming in the back door, I always felt like I was entering an enchanted forest of history, tools, special mechanical instruments to help fix something, cut glass or looking at other intriguing items. I loved walking on the creaky wooden floor that allowed my imagination to ponder what the store might have looked like originally when it was first established. It sadden's me that Bayers is closing. Both the history of the store & Bob are an important icon in the LH Neighborhood. I wish Bob, his family, and the displaced workers all the best as they move through this historic loss and transition. Thank you for your steadfast service to the LH community. You will be missed! --C A Maloney
Leah July 25, 2012 at 09:40 PM
I am sad for his loss but in the end one had to survive. Settergrens has shown their community support and their top notch customer service and product line in their short time in LH and I am glad they came out on top. Bob was a bitter person who really was not at all helpful in the end and it showed. It is no surprise.
Steven F Brown July 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Who cares? It's a store.
Cooper Gosling July 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Leah, that seems like a really harsh comment to make about someone who has lived in and served the Linden Hills community for a very long time. It's nice, during times like this, to be a bit more charitable to someone who is suffering a loss. I know that I will never forget the many years I went to Bayers with my father as a young child in the early to mid-eighties.
J.P. August 01, 2012 at 01:14 AM
I grew up with Bayer's (formerly Clark) Hardware. My mother ran the gift shop for many years, until she had to retire to care for my ill father. I fondly remember Bob, his parents Max and Florence, and all of the others who had worked at the store. When I owned my home in Southwest Minneapolis and needed fix-up tools and supplies, I went to Bayers first, then Knox Lumber. Bob, I wish you the best in your upcoming retirement. Enjoy your life of leisure, you've earned it. Linden Hill is losing a landmark.
snady dd August 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Robert A "The 9/11 Tribute Concert at Lake Harriet Bandshell (which is not really a tribute but a show) put on by Bob Bayer has become very controversial. Immediately after 9 11 most saw it as appropriate. But as the years went on (it has been more than 10 years) most people saw it as inappropriate, and it became more of a tribute to al-Qaeda, a celebration of the Terrorists attacks. They even have firework displays at the 9 11 show, how sick is that, they did everything but reenact 9 11. Why doesn’t Bob Bayer put on a tribute to our brave veterans from all wars, why not a tribute to our brave fireman and police. The worst was when this 9 11 show keeps stating that the guy from Bloomington is a hero (the lets role guy) for bringing down a plane over Pennsylvania. The bipartisan 9/11 Commission stated that this was not true years ago. Lies weakens our great country (God Bless the USA), and only helps our enemies. The terrorist killed 2,973 victims on 9 11, but we are a strong nation, and have overcome much worse. The USA moves on and becomes stronger. The 9 11 show is UN American in that is wallows in self-pity. I knew people who died in 9 11, and I (like most others) find the 9 11 show distasteful. It is an insult to the victims of 9 11, it is an insult to our brave fireman, police, and our armed forces. . It is an insult to our great country the United States of America. I know a lot of fellow veterans who stopped going to Bayer’s Do It Best Hardware because of this"
snady dd August 02, 2012 at 01:15 PM
"@ Robert, you are right, the 9/11 celebration is gone very very wrong. It started off good in the first year, but now it is just a PUBLICITY STUNT, and a place where people show FAKE Patriotism, and as an excuse to have a concert. You are right “I knew people who died in 9 11, and I (like most others) find the 9 11 show distasteful. It is an insult to the victims of 9 11, it is an insult to our brave fireman, police, and our armed forces.” I also knew people who died in 9/11, and they would be horrified by this celebration. They should stop the 9/11 Tribute Concert at Lake Harriet Bandshell, for all the reasons you described and too many reasons too list here. @ Robert, Thank you and all Veterans for their service to our country. And a Thank You to our brave heroes in the police and fire departments."
snady dd August 02, 2012 at 01:17 PM
“Bayers Hardware may be gone, but Linden Hills has a better replacement that has become the “pillar of the neighborhood” in Settergren's Ace Hardware (25 feet away, just around the corner). And Settergren's Ace Hardware is a small family business serving Minneapolis Minnesota for over 100 years.” A previous post said it best: Leah 4:40 pm on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 I am sad for his loss but in the end one had to survive. Settergrens has shown their community support and their top notch customer service and product line in their short time in LH and I am glad they came out on top. Bob was a bitter person who really was not at all helpful in the end and it showed. It is no surprise.

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