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The 16 best hardware stores in San Francisco

Essential stores during the shelter-in-place order

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Most businesses have closed following the shelter-in-place order in San Francisco due to the novel coronavirus. But some types of businesses deemed essential will remain open, like grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants (for delivery only), and hardware stores.

Hardware shops will be critical stops the three-week-long order. You can find everything from home goods—e.g., power tools, screwdrivers, hammers, ballcocks, buzzsaws, and other doodads—to paint and plants at these stores. You can even buy a pair of high heels for drag at Cliff’s Variety. Seriously, hardware stores have almost everything.

Plus, these brick-and-mortar spots will get your home-centric creative juices flowing faster than Pinterest, Bob Villa, and Elle Decor combined.

Listed in no particular order, below we’ve included a handful of our favorite hardware outfits in the city, as well as one major chain for you to peruse.

Note: Please call these stores in advance before heading over.

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Cole Hardware (North Beach)

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Forget Molinari’s. City Lights who? The real North Beach attraction is this new Cole Hardware that opened up in the former Piazza Market space at 627 Vallejo a couple of years ago. “We’re excited to be among the many other iconic businesses in North Beach and hope to fill the niche that’s been vacant since Figoni Hardware on Grant Avenue closed years ago,” said Cole Hardware shortly after opening.

Stunning facade notwithstanding, here you’ll find everything you need to get your home up to speed: plants, paint, keys, screws, nails, toilet brushes, shelving, and so much more.

It’s also a UPS access point and you can buy your Clipper cards here.

Fredericksen Hardware and Paint

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This Cow Hollow staple has served the neighborhood since 1906. The staff and service here is topnotch.

Bonus points for its adorable cat, Pepper, who calls the hardware store home! (Psst: Pepper has her own Instagram account too.)

Ace Hardware: Financial District

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An ideal spot for grabbing home items during one’s lunch house, this hardware store can be found in the heart of the Financial District. While not big in size, its staff is super helpful. If the store doesn’t carry an item you’re looking for, the employees will help you find it elsewhere.

Standard 5 & 10

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This large Laurel Village store comes with a kitchen-goods annex, Stan’s Kitchen, which features top-end kitchen items not seen in the neighborhood since HomeChef left over a decade ago. This store also has everything you’ll need to make your house a home—and then some.

It also sells Big Green Eggs, the preferred meat-cooking method of Mark Zuckerberg.

Cole-Fox Hardware

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Editor’s choice alert! This SoMa hardware store, located next to Trader Joe’s and across the street from Target, is a must. Two floors of pure hardware store bliss, featuring everything from the usual staples to plants to space heaters to messenger bags. It really does have it all. And with a staff this friendly and knowledgeable, there’s no reason to head to the aforementioned Target.

Also of note: Cole-Fox Hardware’s window displays are criminally underrated, featuring some of the best staging and art direction this side of Hollywood. Cliff’s Variety couldn’t even.

Cole Hardware: SoMa

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While SoMa has seen most of its retail business crash and burn (especially along Folsom, which has turned into a wasteland), the new-ish Cole Hardware on Ninth Street is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Here you’ll find all of the hardware staples and home goods you need, including pots for plants, paint, ladders, toilet stuff, and more.

Discount Builders Supply

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This hardware store is, like many others, also a paint store. This place carries a large selection of paint supplies to help you complete any project. It also provides free parking for those of you who need to haul items homes.

Cole Hardware: Cole Valley

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The first and the best, this titular hardware store opened up in Cole Valley in the 1920s. Per the Cole Hardware site: “Our company’s founder, Dave Karp [who died in 2015], purchased the store in 1959. He ran the entire operation as a one-man band out of the tiny space that is now the warehouse and storage area for our Cole Street store. Dave had a genuine desire to help everyone who walked through his door—ideally making them laugh along the way! Cole Hardware thrived under his stewardship, and eventually things got busy enough that his wife, Margie, started spending her days as the store cashier. Dave and his little store grew to become a much-loved mainstay of the community.”

Progress Hardware

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Located in the Inner Sunset since 1948, this spot is open seven days a week and offers automotive items, household appliances, lawn and gardens accessories, and more. Though under teh Ace Hardware umbrella, it’s still an independent store.

Look for the giant red awning.

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Cliff's Variety

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An icon. A legend. A moment. This hardware store in the heart of the Castro is full of friendly LGBTQ people and staff more than willing to help you find what you need to beautify your home and your life. Expect the unexpected here; in addition to the usual home-goods products, you can find wigs, feather boas, makeup, and more in case you need a new look.

Lowe's Home Improvement

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It’s a major chain, yes. But it also has everything. And if you have a car, there’s plenty of parking.

Glen Park Hardware

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This place has paint, electrical items, tools, hardware, and gardening supplies.

G Mazzei and Sons' Hardware

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A fine family-owned shop that went above beyond the call of duty stocking N95 masks during the 2018 Butte County fire, which saw San Francisco covered in smoke for days. Amazing customer service. Great items. Helpful beyond words. In a word, excellent.

Yee Cheong Hardware Store

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This petite but mighty hardware store in Chinatown offers many household items you’ll need, plus a large array of bowls and dish ware. “Never fails to have in stock whatever quirky product I happen to need,” said on Yelp reviews.

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Nob Hill Hardware

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This small Nob Hill hardware store offers many tools and treasures for the home, like furniture protectors, shoe racks, desk lamps, furniture mineral oil, and more. Also, according to one beaming Yelp review, “the people who work there are exceptionally helpful, knowledgeable and courteous.”

Center Hardware

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Noted as San Francisco’s oldest hardware store, both city builders and DIYers adore this institution. Most recently Center Hardware opened up a 20,000 square-foot retail space on Third Street in Dogpatch boasting a massive 65,000-item inventory that includes 500 different cans of spray paint, power tools galore, earthquake kit supplies, and so much more.

As 7x7 notes, “Whether you’re looking for discontinued Victorian hinges or toilet flappers, the long-time staff (one employee has worked there for 39 years!) has seen and knows it all. And, a friendly concierge desk is there to problem-solve, not to judge.”

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Cole Hardware (North Beach)

Forget Molinari’s. City Lights who? The real North Beach attraction is this new Cole Hardware that opened up in the former Piazza Market space at 627 Vallejo a couple of years ago. “We’re excited to be among the many other iconic businesses in North Beach and hope to fill the niche that’s been vacant since Figoni Hardware on Grant Avenue closed years ago,” said Cole Hardware shortly after opening.

Stunning facade notwithstanding, here you’ll find everything you need to get your home up to speed: plants, paint, keys, screws, nails, toilet brushes, shelving, and so much more.

It’s also a UPS access point and you can buy your Clipper cards here.

Fredericksen Hardware and Paint

This Cow Hollow staple has served the neighborhood since 1906. The staff and service here is topnotch.

Bonus points for its adorable cat, Pepper, who calls the hardware store home! (Psst: Pepper has her own Instagram account too.)

Ace Hardware: Financial District

An ideal spot for grabbing home items during one’s lunch house, this hardware store can be found in the heart of the Financial District. While not big in size, its staff is super helpful. If the store doesn’t carry an item you’re looking for, the employees will help you find it elsewhere.

Standard 5 & 10

This large Laurel Village store comes with a kitchen-goods annex, Stan’s Kitchen, which features top-end kitchen items not seen in the neighborhood since HomeChef left over a decade ago. This store also has everything you’ll need to make your house a home—and then some.

It also sells Big Green Eggs, the preferred meat-cooking method of Mark Zuckerberg.

Cole-Fox Hardware

Editor’s choice alert! This SoMa hardware store, located next to Trader Joe’s and across the street from Target, is a must. Two floors of pure hardware store bliss, featuring everything from the usual staples to plants to space heaters to messenger bags. It really does have it all. And with a staff this friendly and knowledgeable, there’s no reason to head to the aforementioned Target.

Also of note: Cole-Fox Hardware’s window displays are criminally underrated, featuring some of the best staging and art direction this side of Hollywood. Cliff’s Variety couldn’t even.

Cole Hardware: SoMa

While SoMa has seen most of its retail business crash and burn (especially along Folsom, which has turned into a wasteland), the new-ish Cole Hardware on Ninth Street is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Here you’ll find all of the hardware staples and home goods you need, including pots for plants, paint, ladders, toilet stuff, and more.

Discount Builders Supply

This hardware store is, like many others, also a paint store. This place carries a large selection of paint supplies to help you complete any project. It also provides free parking for those of you who need to haul items homes.

Cole Hardware: Cole Valley

The first and the best, this titular hardware store opened up in Cole Valley in the 1920s. Per the Cole Hardware site: “Our company’s founder, Dave Karp [who died in 2015], purchased the store in 1959. He ran the entire operation as a one-man band out of the tiny space that is now the warehouse and storage area for our Cole Street store. Dave had a genuine desire to help everyone who walked through his door—ideally making them laugh along the way! Cole Hardware thrived under his stewardship, and eventually things got busy enough that his wife, Margie, started spending her days as the store cashier. Dave and his little store grew to become a much-loved mainstay of the community.”

Progress Hardware

Google Maps

Located in the Inner Sunset since 1948, this spot is open seven days a week and offers automotive items, household appliances, lawn and gardens accessories, and more. Though under teh Ace Hardware umbrella, it’s still an independent store.

Look for the giant red awning.

Google Maps

Cliff's Variety

An icon. A legend. A moment. This hardware store in the heart of the Castro is full of friendly LGBTQ people and staff more than willing to help you find what you need to beautify your home and your life. Expect the unexpected here; in addition to the usual home-goods products, you can find wigs, feather boas, makeup, and more in case you need a new look.

Lowe's Home Improvement

It’s a major chain, yes. But it also has everything. And if you have a car, there’s plenty of parking.

Glen Park Hardware

This place has paint, electrical items, tools, hardware, and gardening supplies.

G Mazzei and Sons' Hardware

A fine family-owned shop that went above beyond the call of duty stocking N95 masks during the 2018 Butte County fire, which saw San Francisco covered in smoke for days. Amazing customer service. Great items. Helpful beyond words. In a word, excellent.

Yee Cheong Hardware Store

Google Maps

This petite but mighty hardware store in Chinatown offers many household items you’ll need, plus a large array of bowls and dish ware. “Never fails to have in stock whatever quirky product I happen to need,” said on Yelp reviews.

Google Maps

Nob Hill Hardware

This small Nob Hill hardware store offers many tools and treasures for the home, like furniture protectors, shoe racks, desk lamps, furniture mineral oil, and more. Also, according to one beaming Yelp review, “the people who work there are exceptionally helpful, knowledgeable and courteous.”

Center Hardware

Noted as San Francisco’s oldest hardware store, both city builders and DIYers adore this institution. Most recently Center Hardware opened up a 20,000 square-foot retail space on Third Street in Dogpatch boasting a massive 65,000-item inventory that includes 500 different cans of spray paint, power tools galore, earthquake kit supplies, and so much more.

As 7x7 notes, “Whether you’re looking for discontinued Victorian hinges or toilet flappers, the long-time staff (one employee has worked there for 39 years!) has seen and knows it all. And, a friendly concierge desk is there to problem-solve, not to judge.”