Best Hardware Store - 2006
Shell Lumber and Hardware
Ordinarily the process of buying two-by-fours, screwdrivers, hammers, and dry wall is far from heartwarming. But purchasing a nail gun at Shell is strangely therapeutic. There's the great service -- almost everyone seems to be of Bob Vila quality; you can find an expert on mahogany, bathroom fixtures, and security systems. There's also the setting. Shell is stuffed like your grandmother's attic. If you buy an obscure item -- a rare screw, perhaps -- there's a chance some staffer will clamber up a ladder to pull it from a mysterious, unreachable place twenty feet high. But the reason we like Shell better than the entirely serviceable Home Depots of the world is not the service. Nor is it the setting, the presence of two million lineal feet and 330 types of molding, or the claims that it sells more stainless-steel fasteners than anyone in the industry. No, that's not it. It's not even Shell's seniority (it has been in Miami since 1928). We like this store because of its friendly details. The free coffee, free popcorn, free Gatorade, and the courtesy phone. Even if you're not a contractor, you'll have a good time at Shell.