Ludewig's in Teaneck to Close

Queen Anne Road hardware store has been in town for the past 100 years.

Share your memories of Ludewig's for this story: Post a comment or e-mail noah@patch.com

Ludewig's Hardware is set to close after more than 100 years in Teaneck, the shop's owner confirmed Tuesday. 

Merrick Fradkin, the owner, said the difficult decision was prompted by a shrinking customer base and rising costs. 

"The whole mentality of people going to a small business has stopped," he said. "A lot of people are just after price rather than service and quality." 

A final sale is set to begin March 12, Fradkin said. The shop will likely shut down in early April. 

"It got to the point where I was in business to pay bills and that's just not the right way to go about it," Fradkin said in an interview. 

The store has been in Fradkin's family for 45 years. Fradkin took over the store from his father in 2000.

"If you just look at the number's it's an easy decision," Fradkin said. "Once you add the emotional factor in that makes it extremely difficult." 

Fradkin described the decision as an "emotional roller-coaster." 

"I'm upset that it had to come down to this because I do care about the community and it needs a hardware store," he said. "Business-wise it's the right thing to do, but emotionally it just doesn't feel right." 

Fradkin's family owns the store's Queen Anne Road building, which is up for sale. 

The shop has a reputation locally for going beyond just selling hardware essentials, offering customers personalized service and advice on projects.

Ludewig's has become the latest longtime Teaneck small business to shut down. Cedar Lane Cinema's and Louie's Charcoal Pit closed last year. 


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Tania Gonzalez February 27, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Lucky for you "Tee Smyth" the store is gonna be around for a few more months. You should go by and check it out!!! :) Consider this your own personal advertisement from a person that has been a part of the store and it's history.
Tee Smyth February 27, 2013 at 07:06 PM
I actually do need some hardware store items. I will make it my business to patronize them!
Tania Gonzalez February 27, 2013 at 08:04 PM
I am so happy to hear that!! When you go, ask for Merrick, he already knows you're coming. lol
Adam February 27, 2013 at 08:07 PM
I have worked here for 9 years this march. Ludewig's put me through college and Merrick never let my job with him get in the way of my school and bettering myself. I am proud to be a veteran of the store. I learned to speak Spanish here as well and can comfortably "shoot the breeze" with any Latino or Hispanic customer. Ludewig's has provided me with assets to ensure my own success in this world. The main reason I stayed so very long was because it was simply the coolest job ever! Thanks Tania for defending the awesomeness of the store :). You're more a veteran than I in many ways. Word up. Anyone who thinks negatively about the store's passing is simply a boob. The Fradkin family will always be close to my heart and I'm happy I got to be a part of an "olde fashioned" hardware store. Im the greatest person in the world! Thanks Mer-Man! I love you. One last thing. His name is MERRICK, not Merril, Eric, Merrit, Jezebele, Abraham, or any weird variation you people come up with. :) Sincerely, the skinny kid with the glasses
Erica R February 27, 2013 at 08:22 PM
My dad worked there when I was little, and I loved going there, and I would still go there if I lived close by. Very, very sad to hear they're closing.
Allan Birnbaum February 27, 2013 at 11:55 PM
I am a long time resident since 1948 I got to know the current owners and developed a nice relationship. I suppose a large number of the old customers like myself have moved away to retire in Florida and the new people were enticed by the big box stores. Its a shame and I wish the Fradkin family the best . Allan Birnbaum
Allan Birnbaum February 27, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Love to follow Teaneck News
Barbara Begendorf Hardin February 28, 2013 at 02:02 AM
This is heartbreaking to me! I am the third generation of a family that called Teaneck home -- the first being my grandparents, Richard and Anna Ferris of Park Avenue -- and I cannot even imagine that town without Ludewig's. Ludewig's is not only a Teaneck landmark, but it was my grandfather's favorite store up until his death. I remember him taking me in there from the time I was a small child. I now live in North Carolina, but it is still so sad to know that Ludewig's and other Teaneck landmarks are disappearing little by little. Best of luck, Fradkin family. You will definitely be missed! Barbara Begendorf Hardin
joy firshein February 28, 2013 at 04:26 AM
So sad for me and for the town. Such a shame Teaneck cannot support one family owned hardware store. They will be sorely missed.
Orthowatch February 28, 2013 at 01:40 PM
I used to shop at Goodman's because I lived close by. When they were closing, the owner asked me to start shopping at Ludewig's to keep supporting the mom & pop businesses. I'm very sad to see Ludewig's is closing. Are there any other small business to use, or do we now have to shop at Home Depot?
Linda & Jay Saifman February 28, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Linda & Jay WOW! Barry & Merrick, we love you but now know that you are loved by so many. Be proud, you've earned it! Much love.
maria February 28, 2013 at 05:51 PM
So sad to hear the news about Ludewig's... I grew up in Ridgefield Park and remember my dad always running out to Ludewigs for just about everything and anything for around the house. My husband and I purchased a home in Teaneck 5 years ago and frequently shopped at Ludewigs (as new homeowners do). It definitely had the warm mom and pop store feel to it. Sad to see it go. Good luck to the Fradkin family. What a loss for the community...
charles austin February 28, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Whatever happens, and it looks like not much will change, the owners and workers at Ludewigs can go knowing that what they did was good, was appreciated, was valued and will be missed.
James T. brennan February 28, 2013 at 11:30 PM
If Ludewig's Hardware was on fire, and a customer needed a screw, Merrick and his dad, Barry, would say "screw the fire, get the screw! " That's how the Fradkins felt about customer service. Customers always FIRST! And, I know because I've been working there for 13 years. I've had many jobs in my life, but I've never had as boss as good as Merrick, who took over the business from his father in 2000.As a team, they created the "perfect" hardware store. Never heard a complaint. Always good. Of course, I'll miss the store, but, more importantly. I'll miss Merrick, his dad, Barry, Merrick's wife, Michelle, Barry's wife, Dot, and Merrick's children, Melissa and Mitchell. And. I'll miss all of my former fellow employees, including Joe,Isabel,Amanda,Mike, Boomer, Adam, Ryan, Jen. Gillian. Ashley and "Mr. Fixit".Pete. Amen.
James T. brennan March 01, 2013 at 02:09 AM
And, Sarah. And last but not least ... Bianca!
Art Vatsky March 01, 2013 at 03:54 AM
My head is spinning! I, too, have enjoyed my trips to Ludewig's. Over the years though, I have been doing fewer projects so my visits have been less frequent. I shop Cedar Lane, Queen Anne and Teaneck Road. I want my money to stay in Teaneck as much as possible. Now I spend movie money in Ridgefield Park and Paramus, fast food money in Hackensack and Bergenfield. Everybody better rush over to Bischoff's just to be sure they are not planning on leaving.
Barbara Sussman March 01, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Merrick told me about Moore's in Leonia which has the same work ethic and is as similar to Ludwig's as can be
James T. brennan March 01, 2013 at 04:30 PM
And, the one and only ... Gwen.
Barbara Sussman March 01, 2013 at 04:32 PM
After reaing all these perfect testimonials, there really is nothing that hasn't been said. Ludwig's was an institution in Teaneck and will be missed. Barbara Sussman
James T. brennan March 01, 2013 at 04:32 PM
And, who could ever forget Tania.
Barbara Sussman March 01, 2013 at 04:36 PM
What I want to say is there is nothing that can be added to all the sentiments already expressed. Everyone else said it so eloquently!
Susan March 01, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Where will I get all my spare keys made!!!? I will miss this convenient little place, sorry to see you go. Good luck to all..
larry March 02, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Very sad that the big chains are destroying the mom and pop stores and taking the "character" out of our towns. What will we see next - a Walmart in the Grand Canyon? The chain stores have taken over to our detriment.
John Santaella March 02, 2013 at 04:28 PM
A Walmart in the Grand Canyon? Watch what you wish for.
larry March 03, 2013 at 01:06 AM
.and the Walmart shoppers will need to eat - so maybe a McDonalds too :-) - actually I have seen these chain stores and restaurants much too close to the National parks. Already a McDonalds in Coney Island, and McDonalds, Burger King, etc., all over the world - When I travel to a foreign country the last thing I want to see is a McDonalds!!! These chains take all the "Character" out of tourist sites. Chain stores will become the ruin of America. They don't know their place - they want to take over the world. Someone has to put a stop to the chain store takeover.
John Santaella March 03, 2013 at 01:47 AM
Walmart workers must eat too and Walmart only pays enough so they can only afford to shop at Walmart and eat at McDonald's.
Bean March 03, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Too sad so many businesses are closing in Teaneck. Is Ludewig's or Louie's big enough to become an arcade? Would be a big draw for the young folks, who have little to go to locally. Can the township's business mgmt communicate with quality businesses; like the Scholastic store, showing Teaneck's wonderful demographics, instead of settling for more chain stores to move in?
Concerned April 05, 2013 at 07:19 PM
On behalf of all us Fradkin's, [Merrick’s wife, Michele speaking here] we have been humbled by everyone’s outpour of gracious and generous expressions of gratitude and appreciation. I am confident in saying that each day greeting everyone in the Teaneck community has been a pleasure, a learning, and rewarding. The jokes and laughter have carried into our homes and the stories forever in our hearts! The family we have in Teaneck will always be, and the memories a keepsake. Thank you everyone for making this an era of remarkable stance and a foundation of what’s yet to come! Please stop in Saturday, April 5th, as Ludewig’s says thank you and share in a toast to an era of remarkable stance and salute to a future yet to come!
Concerned April 05, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Saturday April 6th...ooops.
Lisa Dee April 06, 2013 at 10:09 PM
You expect Teaneck to approve a business that makes money. They are killing themselves on zoning board that they allowed Dunkin Donuts in. No money making in Teaneck. Rules are rules. They have followed this for years now we are reaping the rewards.


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