TUNKHANNOCK — A hardware store that has become a fixture in one Wyoming County community is moving.
Gay’s True Value Hardware in Tunkhannock just sold its location near the Susquehanna River. Now after being hit by several floods, it is moving to a drier location in town.
The move relieves customers who feared the store would sell and close for good.
Customers will no longer be roaming the aisles inside the creaking old mill building in Tunkhannock.
Gay’s True Value is leaving behind the wooden floors and character of the building and moving to a new location.
There have been talks for months about a CVS Pharmacy moving into the spot, and many customers feared that would mean no more Gay’s but that’s not the case.
Work is underway transforming a former auto body shop into the new Gay’s, right in town on Tioga Street.
“We’re getting excited about it. We’ve been looking forward to getting a new building, expanding and getting out of the flood plain and were looking forward to it in the next couple months,” said Dan Gay.
Another change for the business: Dan Gay and his brother are taking over operations, the next generation to run the century-old store.
This place and this family have been through a lot, especially flooding, including the historic flood that hit Tunkhannock in September 2011.
The sons won’t have to deal with that challenge.
“It feels really good, really good. Knowing we grew up in the business and we can keep it on going as long as we can, hopefully another 100 years, hopefully,” Gay added.
The lot certainly will look different when CVS moves in. The building is coming down and they’re going to raise the lot up to about where the sign is so that CVS is high and dry.
The Gays are hoping their new building stays dry too, and customers say they’re ready to move right along with them.
“I’m glad that they’re just moving instead of just going. I love an old store. I know everybody in and I think it’s very good,” said Gennaro Manganalo of Tunkhannock.
“I’ve been coming here since I was a little shaver. I was about 5 or 6 and here I am, I’m still coming,” said Rodney Race of Noxen.
Some may miss the character of the building but the Gays say all the service and selection are also moving.
“It’s like home. They carry a lot of stuff other stores don’t have and I always keep coming back because I’ve been treated very well,” Race added.
Gay’s hopes to be open in the new location by June 1.
The family says they hope to move some of the antiques and to design the new place as authentic as possible to keep a similar Gay’s True Value feel.