The Hardware Store in Blue Island, IL

During my recent trip to the Chicago area I had to take drastic measures after being locked out of the house.  I had to gain entry by breaking a small basement window, which allowed me to turn the latch and open it so that I could crawl in.  First problem solved, new problem created: broken window to fix.  Not being from the area, I had to locate a hardware store that would be nearby, able to cut glass and have glazing and tuck points.  And, there was the question of would a locksmith have been cheaper?
Turns out buying the materials and doing it myself was the best option. Total cost: $8.60!  Plus my labor.  Finding the hardware store was probably the hardest part of the process.  It was tucked away in a difficult to find neighborhood that is part of the old Blue Island area.  Jeben’s Hardware is hidden away on the south side of the Calumet River on Old Western Ave in a wonderful old building that is dated 1894.  The building is only part of the charm of this place.  First you need to take time to look in the windows, they have a sampling of hardware history on display.  Going inside will blow you away, especially if you love a good hardware store.  One display as you enter is an exhibit of all manner of tools and whatnot in a beautiful wood and glass case.  The main part of the store feels very much like it probably did in the early part of the 20th century.
Besides the hardware store, there is also a fantastic restaurant next door that I highly recommend, The Maple Tree Inn.  Try the Voodoo Nuts!  It’s an area that I hope to go back and explore more fully when I don’t have a window to fix, capped off with a cold beverage and some Voodoo Nuts.  Plus take time to check out the Irish Saloon and the Latin Rhythm Lounge across the street.

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