Old school Carter Lake hardware, variety shop to close Saturday

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:00 am

After 37 years in business, Carter Lake Hardware & Variety became more than just a place to buy stamps and tools.

“This is where people come in the morning to drink coffee, to talk. This is where new people in town come for information,” said co-owner Barb Melonis.

The store, along with its contract post office, will close Saturday. It's unclear whether the post office, which did about $100,000 in sales each year, will be replaced. The postmaster is doing an assessment.

The store's closing is “purely economic” and “not by choice,” Melonis said.

“The last five years have been really bad,” she said. “We weren't selling enough to go on. We were living from bank deposit to bank deposit. When you can't even pay yourself, you're done.”

The store sells everything from sunglasses to nuts and bolts, and includes a consignment shop with used books, clothing and knickknacks for sale. All merchandise is half price, co-owner Flora Bain said. A closing party will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, which will include hot dogs, sloppy Joes and refreshments.

Melonis opened the store in 1977 with co-owners Duyane and Flora Bain. Flora and Barb live in Carter Lake, and Barb serves on the City Council. Duyane lives in Council Bluffs, working part-time at the store and full-time elsewhere.

Kenneth Black, a longtime customer and coffee-drinker at the store, said the friendly nature of Melonis and the Bains played a large part in how the store evolved. “They're people people.”

Kenny Curry, 41, said he has been coming to the store since he was 6 years old and seeking fishing gear and bike parks. Lately, he has relied on it in his maintenance job for a local hotel. “It's going to be missed,” Curry said.

Dealership celebration includes truck pull

Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Bellevue will pit local teams against one another at a truck pull event Saturday to celebrate the grand opening of the dealership at Chandler Road on the west side of the Kennedy Freeway.

Teams from the Bellevue police and fire departments, Bellevue East and West high school students led by their principals, Bellevue University and Bellevue Community Foundation will compete against one another other and the clock in pulling nearly two tons of Dodge Ram Trucks starting at 9:30 a.m.

Each team of five will face off against a competitor on 19th Street in front of the dealership to pull two linked trucks to the finish line.

Performance Auto will award more than $4,000 in cash for favorite charities, with a $1,500 check for the grand prize winner.

Grand opening for Akin's Natural Foods Market

Akin's Natural Foods Market will host a grand opening at its Omaha store Saturday.

The store at 8409 West Center Road opened April 22. The grand opening will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m.

The event will feature food and beverage sampling, live music from Omaha Guitar Trio, balloon twisting and family games, a natural product specialist to answer questions and a free re-usable cloth bag with a purchase. The first 50 customers to make purchases after 11 a.m. also will receive a free bag of products worth $150.

SprayGround summer kickoff

The SAC Federal Credit Union SprayGround at Shadow Lake Towne Center is celebrating the start of summer with a kickoff event May 23.

At 1 p.m., the SprayGround will feature music from The String Beans and special guests, the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 & 2 and the SAC Federal Credit Union Dollar Dog. The event is free to the public.

The celebration is part of the Shadow Lake Towne Center Kids Club, which hosts free special activities for children on the second Thursday of each month at 10:30 a.m.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1414, paige.yowell@owh.com

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