Ace Hardware to return to Uintah Gardens center

       When Ace Hardware left the Uintah Gardens shopping center nearly two years ago, a “ghost sign” remained on the fascia above the empty space. With the remodeled, currently empty store space behind
them, Nick (left) and Kirby Kuklenski stand next to the new
sliding glass door that will ease entry to their new Ace Hardware at the Uintah Gardens shopping center.
Westside Pioneer photo
       It turned out to be prophetic. Another Ace store will be opening in the same location in July.
       Brothers Kirby and Nick Kuklenski are the new proprietors.
       “It's an underserved market,” Kirby said. “We want to give people an opportunity not to go to the big box hardware stores.”
       Until 2005, the older Westside had two hardware stores (Ace and Baker's Best). But then there were none when Baker's closed and the previous Ace moved to the West Wind shopping center at Garden of the Gods Road and Centennial Boulevard. (The owner is Darek Barnes.)
       Specialties at the new Ace will include small appliances, lawn and garden items, paint, power tools, barbecue supplies and fasteners that can be purchased one at time, Kirby said. There will also be a separate area catering to contractors.
       But overall, added Nick, “We will separate ourselves by service. We will preach service and we will be involved in the community.”
       They are from the Denver area, but plan to “be in the store on a regular basis, running it,” Kirby said.
       The brothers bring complementary skills to the business. Nick has worked with Ace's Highlands Ranch store for the past year while Kirby comes from a banking background.
       The family had been looking for a business to run along the Front Range. Ace has turned out to be the match they wanted. All its 4,900 stores are now privately owned, with the proprietors free to purchase Ace products at bulk rates as well as to bring in goods from other suppliers that meet the needs of the community, Kirby explained.
       The 11,000-square-foot store is currently empty as the Kuklenskis are finishing a major interior renovation that included new walls and floors, a remodeled rear office and an automatic sliding front door. They are also happy to see that Uintah Gardens itself is also getting a major facelift this spring.
       In filling their store with goods over the coming weeks, one of their plans is to make the interior bright - as opposed to the stereotypically dingy hardware store . This is part of a goal to make the store an appealing place to shop, not just to men but to women, they said.
       A grand opening is scheduled July 13, with a “soft opening” planned “a little before that,” Kirby said.

Westside Pioneer article