Hardware heroes: The island might have lost another longtime hardware business, were it not for Mark and Keith Bassett, who expect to finalize the acquisition of Village Hardware this month.
The Bassett brothers are buying Village Hardware from Toby Thoresen and partners, who acquired the business in 1978. Village Hardware, 6627 Stewart Road, sells supplies for lawn and garden, outdoor living, home goods, paint and hardware. It has been in the same place since 1956, surviving the arrival of big-box home improvement stores.
But some of the partners were looking to retire, Thoresen said. Village Hardware likely would have closed had the Bassetts not negotiated to buy it, Thoresen said.
“They’re great people; they seem like really nice folks,” he said.
The Bassetts plan to keep on all Village Hardware staff, including Thoresen. They also plan to beef up inventory and make some changes, including adding embroidery services.
The brothers are making a habit of saving longtime, independent island hardware stores.
In 2009, they bought Chalmers True Value Hardware, 2002 Broadway. The Bassetts revived and repaired the store, which had sustained storm damage from Hurricane Ike in September 2008. Like Village Hardware, Chalmers, around since 1960, has a faithful following.
The Bassetts changed the name of that store to Chalmers Hardware & Embroidery to reflect added services. Along with home improvement supplies, Chalmers offers an embroidery service that personalizes hats or shirts for businesses and other customers. The shop’s equipment can reproduce almost any logo and can be embroidered on products in any colors.
Village Hardware will remain open throughout the ownership change, Keith Bassett said.
Coconut telegraph: Can islanders expect a new burger joint? Or the return of an old one? A reliable source has served up a meaty rumor that Houston-based Luby’s plans to return Fuddruckers to the island in the same spot it was before agtt 111 23rd St. downtown. But there’s also speculation that Luby’s, which in 2010 bought the Fuddruckers chain, might instead consider opening a Cheeseburger in Paradise concept at the spot. Luby’s late last month said it agreed to acquire Paradise Restaurant Group, which operates Cheeseburger in Paradise, a full-service restaurant and bar concept developed in collaboration with musician Jimmy Buffett, according to reports. Luby’s said it would pay $11 million in cash for the chain, which operates 23 Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants in 14 states, all outside of Texas.
Fuddruckers, a casual dining chain known for burgers, never returned after Hurricane Ike in 2008 flooded its downtown building. At the time, a company owned by island native Tilman Fertitta owned the island Fuddruckers franchise. Standup comedian Carlos Mencia opened Maggie Rita’s Mexican Grill & Bar in the spot left vacant by Fuddruckers. But that concept bid adios earlier this year.
Luby’s operates 93 Luby’s Cafeterias and 62 Fuddruckers and other restaurants. Luby’s also has 121 Fuddruckers franchise locations. And the chain has been testing a hybrid Luby’s-Fuddruckers concept. The company is rumored to be considering one of those concepts in the north county. In 2009, Luby’s Cafeteria, 6125 Central City Blvd., was among 25 the chain closed. Officials with Mitchell Historic Properties, which owns the 111 23rd St. building, declined to comment about the rumors. Stay tuned.
What’s that? All that activity at 2770 W. Walker near JC Penney in League City is for Orchard Park at Victory Lakes.
Dallas-based McFarlin Group and Stroud Development confirmed last year they would codevelop the 70,000-square-foot facility that would serve 60 assisted living residents and another 40 patients in need of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in a separate, secure wing. No word on an opening date. Stay tuned.
Rumor aisle: Details were scarce, but some readers are shopping rumors that the Kroger on the southeast corner of Interstate 45 and FM 518, in League City Plaza, will undergo a $6 million makeover next year. Stay tuned.
Shop talk: In what’s starting to be a tradition, South Land Title, 6710 Stewart Road Ste. 220 on the island, is offering its Shopping Day and Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. There’ll be jewelry, Scentsy, handbags, clothes, bling and more at the event, which is in its second year. For information, call 409-256-4008.
Now see this: Need some fashion focus? TSO Galveston, 515 22nd St. in the island’s downtown, is planning a trunk show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The show will feature four frame lines in their entirety — every frame in every size and every color. The collections are Tom Ford, DSquared2, Diesel and Mont Blanc. Snacks and mimosas will be served. TSO Galveston also will offer a special of $75 off any frame from the collections Saturday only. For information, call 409-763-6300.
Buzz-cation: This column will be on hiatus until Dec. 18.