As Downtown Muskogee Develops, Historic Hardware Store Reopens
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - A Muskogee hardware store just reopened this holiday season, competing against the large big box retailers.
The owner said he decided to keep his store open, remodel it and be part of the growing downtown Muskogee.
Hoopes Hardware Store has been in Muskogee for 85 years. It closed briefly, but the owner said he reopened it because he believes in downtown revitalization.
Every time a business opens up in downtown Muskogee, a small celebration happens.
Hoopes Hardware Store is in the historic Katy District and is now part of a handful of stores that remodeled or opened up in the downtown area.
Owner Jack Hoopes believes his family-owned store could be a success story with all the improvements being made in Muskogee.
“I found a lot of people want to come to downtown,” he said. “They want the downtown to be reinvented and to be revitalized,"
Hoopes understands he's going up against giant stores like Home Depot and Lowe's, but his store offers a different experience.
"We tried to keep as much of the historic - these floors are what I remember when I was a kid when my dad had it and we didn't change those. We tried to maintain some of our old nail bins, and our scales and some of those. At the same time, we knew that we had to provide a different merchandise availability - we couldn't keep it what it was, we had to be more of a one stop," he said.
Customers like Corrinne Beaver like that fact a hardware store owner wanted to keep his doors open in downtown Muskogee.
"You can get help on the spot, you don't have to push a button to get help," Beaver said.
And Hoopes Hardware Store is open in downtown Muskogee six days a week.
The next step is to turn the upstairs into loft apartments.