End is nigh for Churchtown hardware shop after 30 years
Churchtown Stores to close as brothers Kieran, Fehan and Barry Flood decide to retire
Long-standing family business Churchtown Stores is to close its doors at the end of this month.
The hardware shop, run by brothers Kieran, Fehan and Barry Flood since it opened in 1987, had a huge customer base drawn as much by the range of product as the reassuring DIY advice offered by the family. Antiquated household repair parts were a speciality. Bills were written up on the back of slips of paper with the aid of a counter-top calculator.
Last year, however, the brothers decided to sell the premises, just off Braemor Road, and a closing date has now been set for January 31st.
The decision to retire was not taken lightly by the trio, who ran a similar operation in London during the 1970s and 1980s, and loyal customers are still coming to terms with their departure.
“Genuinely, they fully understand why we’re going, but like ourselves they’re very surprised that it didn’t go as a going concern,” said eldest brother Kieran Flood, who was eager to see the shop continue as a hardware store.
“We have a lot of stuff here that you won’t get in other shops. I don’t think you’d get any shop in Ireland that have the range that we have. We have all sorts of fire grates – we would be very big into that – all the unusual ones,” he adds.
The outlet, a one-time nominee for The Irish Times Best Shops awards, was previously lauded in this publication for its “endless stock” and the “no-nonsense advice” on offer from the owners.
The building will live on as a source of employment in the local area, with plans to replace the store with a gastropub.
As for the brothers, they will be putting their free time in retirement to varied uses.
“We have all got other interests. I’m looking forward to it myself, I think we all are really. I do a good bit of sean nós dancing and set dancing. I’m hoping to do a bit of music, too, but that’s an aspiration more than anything else,” said Kieran Flood.
The issue of Brexit has been convulsing policymakers in Brussels and London for some time, and Kieran explains that it is even having a knock-on effect on the local scene in Churchtown.
“We were originally going to complete at the end of February, but with Brexit and everything we were advised that we would be better off to go a little bit earlier,” he said, citing anxieties over import prices and spending power.
However, the tills are still ringing out in the shop with a bumper custom expected to see the brothers off before the end of the month.