Best Of

Best DIY Supply and Hipster Hardware Experience


From the curb, Crest Hardware and Urban Garden Center could be any True Value store in the country. Step inside. An African Grey parrot, Finlay, observes shoppers up front; out back, under the peach tree, there’s a garden where eggplants, peppers, and big beefsteak tomatoes grow. Over in the corner, Franklin the pot-bellied pig snoozes in his pen beside a sign trumpeting free compost with purchase. Crest is the Ryan Gosling of hardware stores. It inspires ardent feelings and breathless Yelp reviews, and has spawned a beloved music festival and a respected art show. Evidence of the latter is scattered throughout the aisles. Exhibit A: a couple of Chuck Close-ish portraits—one in tiny squares of sandpaper, the other in nuts and bolts—of Crest’s manager, Joe. Joe won’t just guide you to the right caulking to reattach a shower soap dish; he’ll preach its virtues with the zeal of an evangelist, walk you step-by-step through the fix-it process, and arm you with a list of YouTube videos to check out while you’re at it.