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Seitz-Agin Hardware to Close Its Doors

The popular hardware store and its knowledgeable staff will stop serving customers by the first week of July

Seeing any local retailer close up shop is a sad event. But the emotions may run particularly high with regard to , which has been a favored destination locally for decades.

The store, located at 2271 Lee Road, is closing by the first week of July due to economic pressures brought on by very familiar conditions, including the economic downturn and stiff competition in the surrounding area.

For the past 60 years, Seitz-Agin has served the needs of people in Cleveland Heights and many nearby communities. And for the last 38 years, it has been run by owner Joel Borwick.

“I’m sorry to be closing, but the focus should be on the people in this incredible community who have supported our store for so long,” Borwick said. 

One of those people, Judi Chamberlain, is a long-time resident of Cleveland Heights. She is just one of many customers who will be affected by the closing of Seitz-Agin.

“It was always great to go into their store," Chamberlain said. "Joel and his employees knew how to assist you with projects, whether you were replacing a doorknob or staining your deck. They will be sorely missed.”

There’s a special bond homeowners have with a local hardware store that can offer expert advice. This is especially true in a city such as Cleveland Heights, where the homes have sought-after historical features and charm, but are older and prone to various problems that come with age.

Other retailers in the area know Borwick as a friend. 

Steve Presser, owner of on Coventry Road and a member of the Heights Independent Business Alliance, said, “Joel has been a friend to the community for more than 30 years. His store made shopping truly special, and that’s one cornerstone of what makes Cleveland Heights special.”

And local competitors are sympathetic. 

“We’re very sad to see Seitz-Agin go away," said Andy Gathy, owner of  on Coventry. "They’ve been kind to us over the years, even referring customers to us when they didn’t have something in stock.”

Although the store is closing, Borwick plans on maintaining his connection with the city.

“I’ll have more time to devote to the , of which I’m president. And I plan to become more involved with other community organizations.”

But residents will miss the service that can't be matched by bigger stores and Borwick's sense of humor.

As Chamberlain explains, “I once went into Seitz-Agin to buy an insulating jacket for my water heater. Joel showed me a package that just had plain white plastic inside. I asked, ‘Is that all there is to the jacket?’ And he replied, ‘What were you expecting, herringbone?’”

Fran Mentch May 24, 2011 at 11:26 AM
So sorry to hear this; this is a real loss to the community. Thanks for your many years of service.
Susan Miller May 24, 2011 at 11:41 AM
This is devastating to the community. It IS community. This is how the commons is eroded when the big boys come to town. OK, well forcing me back to Coventry Hardware for pretty much everything. I used Coventry hardware when I first landed here in the late 70s and lived in the Coventry neighborhood. Then in 1990, we bought a home nearer Cedar Lee and it wouldn't be operable were it not for Joel and staff who had what we needed and advised us on what else we would need to complete the various projects. Home Depot? Yeah, IF you can find help there... and IF they have what you need. Good luck with that. They sure don't have the charm, the know how and the phone number of the guy who knows how to fix your ancient furnace, rewire that lamp, rebuild those old wooden screens, etc.
Lisa Rainsong May 24, 2011 at 12:16 PM
I am so sorry to hear this. Although I primarily go to Dunn Hardware because they are closer to my corner of Cleveland Heights, I have found Seitz-Agin to be very helpful when I'm in the Cedar-Lee area. I hope people will choose to go to other locally-owned stores in our area - and I hope those stores can hold on! I don't even consider Home Depot as a possibility when I need help with something for my little 1927 bungalow. It's the local stores who know what I need and the local stores that deserve my support.
Michael Day May 24, 2011 at 01:00 PM
A sad day for the consumer. Another specialized, personalized, local, independant shop closed. Thanks to Joel and the staff for many years of service, friendship, and joy! All the best for many future years of happiness, in whatever your future holds. Now I have to fill up the tank...drive farther away...special order in...wait...pay more...from a NON LOCAL company...who doesn't pay all local taxes, support local causes.....etc. Wait...maybe ther still is a local small business left? Point me in that direction please!
Michelle Simakis (Editor) May 24, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Thanks all for your comments on this story. Though I am new here and have not shopped at Seitz-Agin, I know how devastating it is to lose local hardware stores. One closed in my hometown a few years ago. My mom loves restoring antiques, and now she can't find a refinishing product they used to carry anywhere else. And, they were the only store in town that could properly rewire antique lamps. My mom knew everyone there by name, and they knew her. They took time to get to know their customers, and provided more than just a service.
linda jenkins May 24, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Yes my family shopped at Seitz-Agin, my sons as little boys thought this was an adventure outing for them ,the store had a feeling of something that made you feel like the hardware stores you see in the movies,one of my sons would say to his father,the person who named the store must have been a little kid ,because he spelled it wrong.He told us the name of the store is Say it Again.It is so sad to hear this store is closing this store has a lot of sentiment for my family.When we wanted positive behavior from the kids,Seitz-Agin was on the reward list.I pray this Family have continued joy and peace in life and thank you for your services in many ways for my family.
linda jenkins May 24, 2011 at 02:54 PM
I just put a called in to my husband about Seitz -Agin hardware store closing and his sentiments are like mine.However he remined me there were so many items he could always find in this store Clev Hts is losing a great asset to our community.Many home and school projects materials were purchased there.We will miss this store and the wonderful friends we met while shopping there.Seitz-Agin will always be a part of Clev Hts. history and memories.Be Blessed!
Anne Wilson May 24, 2011 at 03:31 PM
I too am saddened by this news. Being a single female homeowner and quite a dunce at home repair, I have relied on the friendly and wise advice of the Sietz-Agin guys for many years. Thank you for your many years of serving this community!
Carol Poulos May 24, 2011 at 05:20 PM
I am shocked and saddened about the closing of Seitz-Agin. I have been coming to Seitz-Agin since I was a little girl and would accompany my Dad when ever he went as I loved the store even then. I love walking in today and remember those times with my Dad. It still smells and looks the same. I don't know where I will go to get the things I need, like geting my screen windows fixed and getting my lamps rewired. Or suggestions for good reliable help. The community is losing more than a store it is losing a part of its heritage.
Michelle Simakis (Editor) May 24, 2011 at 05:25 PM
@Carol and @Michael, Heights Hardware on Coventry is locally owned, and, as Lisa mentioned, Dunn Hardware is nearby in Richmond Heights. I'm sure people already know about Home Depot in Severance.
Jeff Coryell May 24, 2011 at 06:23 PM
This is a real tough loss, I've been relying on Seitz Agin for 17 years. Unlike the big chain hardware stores, you could count on personal and expert assistance right when you wanted it, and they understood the problems that our era of homes present. When my garage door opener wore out, they diagnosed the problem correctly and referred me to right place to get it fixed it.
Bonnie Goldfarb May 25, 2011 at 06:27 PM
CEDAR CENTER HARDWARE, located on Warrensville Center Road just north of Cedar Road is also locally owned, offers exceptional service, and is very well suited to meet the needs of the Heights community, and has been for 17 years.
lenny goldfarb May 25, 2011 at 07:19 PM
I am sorry to see that My friend Joel Borwick is closing his store, Seitz -Agin hardware. I remember going there with my parents 50 years ago when I was growing up in the Cedar Lee area. I am now the owner of Cedar Center Hardware at 1970 Warrensville Center Rd. in South Euclid. I have always had a good working relationship with Joel and his staff, We would always prefer sending our customer to them or them sending thier customer to us when either of us might be out of an item. Cedar Center Hardware has been a staple in the heights community for seventeen years. We are open seven days a week , 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Weekdays and Sat and Sun untill 5:00pm We stock a complete selection in Plumbing,Electrical ,Hardware, Paint, Lawn and Garden and many other household items.We do screen and window repair and other small repairs. Gas grill propane tank exchange is always available at our store.Stop in to see "The biggest little hardware store in town" Lenny Goldfarb
roscoe Morgan May 25, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Seitz-Agin will be missed. They have been a valuable resource to the Heights Youth Club. Its been nice to have such helpful professionals right done the road when we needed things or direction in repairs at the HYC. Joel is fantastic and so are the staff there that have been so helpful in the 5 years we've been open. Roscoe Morgan ,Heights Youth Club Director
Amy M. June 29, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Joel has been apart of my family for as long as I can remember! He always asks how my family is when I go in there....they have ALWAYS been the first store I stop at for anything I need for our home. I have lived in Cleveland Heights since I was born...let's just say, more than Joel has owned the store. He has become apart of my family, now that I am married with a 6 year old boy, who will miss the big teddy bear. Joel and his enitre staff are like family and I am so sad to see such a wonderful store having to close! Cleveland Heights is such a special place! We have to keep as many "mom and pop" stores open!!!! I love Cleveland Heights and hope that in 10 years it won't be all commercial stores! Joel and all of your staff will be soooo missed by the McAree and Castle family!!!!!

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