New Team Member Brings Paws-itive Vibes to Local Hardware Store

By Kelly Martin

Steven Stark, the owner of Beacon Hardware on Amsterdam Avenue and 78th Street just added a new member to his team — a four-month-old puppy named Dinah.

This is not the first canine companion to take up residence at Beacon. Bru, a Labrador who died last year, was beloved by all types of locals, from fellow dog owners to children who stopped by daily to see her. Stark’s habit of bringing his dog to work started out of necessity, because he did not want to leave her at home all of the time, so his brother suggested bringing her into work. She ended up being a bright spot of customer and employee’s days, so he decided to continue every day of Bru’s life, and now plans to do the same every day of Dinah’s life.

After Bru passed away, Stark took some time off from being a dog owner, and started to live vicariously through the other owners that visited his store, playing with the dogs as if they were his own. But recently, he decided he was ready to take the leap into being a full-fledged dog dad again.

He contacted Guiding Eyes for the Blind, an organization that raises and trains guide dogs, and said that he would be interested in one of the released pups that wouldn’t end up being able to guide. As luck would have it, only a few weeks later there was an adorable Black Lab ready to be adopted.

Having a dog in the store has its challenges, like dealing with teething in a shop with so many tempting things for a dog to chew, but generally, there is nothing but positivity radiating from Dinah and the rest of the store, from the owner and employees to the patrons.

Beacon Hardware and its mascot have become a staple in the community. During the half hour this interview took, two different people and their puppy counterparts stopped in for a brief play date, knew Dinah by name, and were obviously comfortable in the welcoming environment.

You can tell the spirit of Stark’s past dog, Bru is still alive and well, and has greatly influenced the way that Stark conducts his business.

NEWS | 15 comments | permalink
    1. Zeus says:

      Was in the store last Tuesday and saw the
      new puppy.
      Great looking dog. Congrats!

      Now for the real purpose of this posting.
      I picked 5 very small white candles.
      About 3″ in height by 1″ in diameter.
      Thinking they could be a dollar each – maybe.
      The dude at the cash register asked if I want an invoice and I said yes.
      He wrote it and said I owe him $21.33.
      I asked if he’s making a mistake and he said each is $3.95.
      I thanked him and said I’m not in the market for these candles.
      Come on now –
      Each candles must have cost a dime to produce.
      Super high pricing, and I’m sure they’re not the only place that does so.

    2. EricaC says:

      Love that store – and now I can pet the dog too ….

    3. Bob Lamm says:

      Wonderful article. I’ve been a customer at Beacon for more than four decades. Steve and everyone there have always been great.

    4. John Elari says:

      It’ll take more than a cute dog to get me back into Beacon: they’re prices are absurd — off the wall — and much higher than elsewhere.

      BOW WOW

      • Zeus says:

        I’m with you buddy.
        Read my post, the first one.

      • Sherman says:

        Hi John

        I guess it really sucks when you have to pay for something at fair market value.

        You’re not used to it.


        • Zeus says:

          Fair market value?
          You must have fallen from a far away
          star dude.
          Read my post, the first one.
          Tell me if a candle 3″ high by 1″ wide,
          plain white, is worth $3.95.

          • dannyboy says:

            Sherman believes that everyone is getting things on the cheap, and doesn’t want that. He want to have it for himself. Note how he buys off-price in Florida. But that doesn’t stop him for accusing others of getting something that he believes should only be his.

            • Sherman says:

              Hi dannyboy

              You’ll have to excuse me. I can only afford vacations in Florida to buy discounted clothes.

              I can’t afford those exotic vacations like you take. After living for decades in a rent-controlled apartment I’m sure you have plenty of disposable income.


            • dannyboy says:


              I have asked you to stop repeating this same lie over, and over.

              By now I am sure that you believe it.

              Try not to lie so much if you can.

            • dannyboy says:

              “Sherm” I have come up with a working hypothesis on your lying. My original understanding was that you couldn’t help yourself, without access to language or cogent arguments.

              I have added whole other dimension: Perhaps you just reach incorrect conclusions. I HAVE written in support of rent control, I HAVE written in support of government supports for the needy and, here it comes…You concluded incorrectly that I receive government Entitlements. But that is just not the case. You see it is my compassion for OTHERS that initiates my support. I expect that is not a quality that you grok.

    5. Bill says:

      What a sweet little face on that dog.

    6. BillyNYC says:

      I don’t shop at the Beacon and I’ve been living here on the west side since 1968, I wonder why ?
      Actually I’ve been waiting for the owner to tear down that old building for years. Very soon I heard… they to make room for a new high rise.

    7. Maria says:

      Just met Dinah today and also bought some LED bulbs. The prices were fine — what I’d expect and I didn’t have to order them online and pay shipping. Dinah is a very sweet dog and Bruce and staff were helpful and pleasant. Always worth the walk over!

    8. dannyboy says:

      “After Bru passed away, Stark took some time off from being a dog owner, and started to live vicariously through the other owners that visited his store, playing with the dogs as if they were his own. But recently, he decided he was ready to take the leap into being a full-fledged dog dad again.”

      Probably the best course for Stark to have taken. After my cat died after 17 years in our home, we waited about a year before getting another cat. Best not to get a “replacement” pet.