Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 25, 2014

Workbench Hardware celebrates downtown opening today

4th store in chain offers much more than hardware

by Jeb Bing

Fred Nichandros will formally cut the ribbon at noon Friday to open his newest Workbench Hardware store in downtown Pleasanton.

The 11,000-square-foot former Domus kitchen and home accessories store at 652 Main St. will sell the usual assortment of hardware merchandise, from small nails to electric drills.

"But with this larger store, we'll also offer barbecue grills, lawn furniture, more paint and decorating supplies and much more," he said.

Called Workbench Main Street, the new store is Nichandros' fourth hardware store, with one at Valley Plaza at Santa Rita Road and Valley Avenue and two others, one in Castro Valley and another in Patterson.

When he decided to lease the former Domus space, Nichandros talked to Margaret Smith, who owned and operated Domus. He decided to stock many of the housewares and cookware that attracted shoppers to her store, which has already brought shoppers from throughout the Tri-Valley who liked the Domus merchandise.

Workbench has 45 employees, including 10 hired to serve customers at the new Main Street store.

Nichandros' father John started Workbench in Dublin in 1969 to provide supplies for his contracting business. He then switched to a career as a hardware store owner, moving the Dublin business to the Valley Plaza site in 1970. He still helps operate the store in Castro Valley.

Fred Nichandros said he grew up with hardware store blood in his veins, but tried his hand at computer programming in the early 1980s before joining his father's business full-time in 1985. He and wife Anne live in Castro Valley and have a son, Eric.

Nichandros said the Main Street store will stay open later than the one at Valley Plaza, at least until 8 p.m., and will be open seven days a week.

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