Carl Weidetz said the new owners will take control March 1. The deal was officially consummated Jan. 28. The business, which opened in 1919, carries tools, gardening, plumbing and electrical supplies as well as paints.
Weidetz said the new owners are both San Diegans, and that one of them has a background in woodworking. He added they intend to put on seminars teaching patrons the basics of home improvement.
The Weidetzs will remain on board through February and into March to help with the ownership transition. The Weidetzs were presented with a plaque recently by OceanBeach MainStreet Association, honoring them for their half century of community service.
“We’ve had it for 50 years and it was time for me to retire – and I’m going to drag my wife with me,” said Carl Weidetz, who was in the hardware business with his father in the ’60s before going to work for the hardware store’s previous owner, Harold Sulek, starting in 1969. Harold had taken over the business from his dad, Steve Sulek. The Weidetzs bought the business from the Suleks in 1981-82.
Weidetz said it was his understanding that the new owners intend to keep the existing employees, whom he described as “fixtures in the beach area.”
“[The new owners] may expand the site a little bit in different directions,” Weidetz said. “But they will still be keeping the OB-friendly vibes.”
The Weidetzs previously had announced the hardware store would be closing because people “didn’t want to buy it or take it over,” until the “two Michaels” came forward.
“They really wanted the hardware store, and to keep it in OB, though they had some concerns about the sales price,” Weidetz said. He added the hardware store’s leaseholder “made some concessions” in order to make the property available to the new owners.
“We made it work out,” Weidetz said.
Of the business and his stewardship of it, Weidetz said, “It’s been a good time. All the people in the beach area, we wish them well. We’re glad we could help them a little bit with the store, in the past and in the future.”