'Not our first pandemic': Ohio hardware store opened in 1911 carries on

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio. (WVLT/WOIO) -- With many businesses temporarily shuttering their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one business in Ohio, a hardware store, remains open--just like it has since before the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Heights Hardware, located in Cleveland Heights, has been operating since 1911. It's owner, Andy Gathy, told WOIO that the store is built to weather the storm.

“The store has been here since 1911, not our first pandemic,” he said.

The store has made some changes to follow social distancing rules.

WOIO reported that only two customers are allowed in the store at a time and they have markers in place to remind people about the six feet rule.

“I think about it, anybody who works here, or comes here, you’re putting yourself at risk,” said Gathy. “We’ve had customers come in here and they’ve had problems where their water shut off and they needed parts to get their water back up and running so I suppose that’s what they mean by essential. People need water in their house, people need electricity. I guess it’s a good feeling that you’re needed," he said.

Copyright 2020 WVLT News via WOIO. All rights reserved.