Frager's Hardware store re-opening paint business after fire

Watching the fire. (Photo: Jenny Doren/WJLA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - It’s not a huge space, but the new Frager’s Paint Store offers its old and new customers a chance for them to reconnect with life before the fire.

The newly opened paint store is the newest addition, located a couple store fronts from its original location.

“You need anything today, or you just stopping through?” asked Juan Wilson, store manager, who said many of their old customers walk in just to check out the place.

“This is serendipity or fate or whatever it is. We got this space,” Wilson said of the fact the new temporary paint store remains so close to the old store, which burned down in June.

“Most of these people that have come here today…we know them by name,” Wilson said. “We’re part of this community and we know what our role in this community is.”

“I feel I’m part of the Frager’s family,” said John Marshall, who lives about five blocks away and at one point worked at the store part time.

“It’s expertise and family,” his wife, Lucia Hatch, cited as the reason they remain loyal customers.

“Frager’s fills an important role in the Hill,” Marshall said.

The couple remembers being at their home’s rooftop cooking, when they heard the fire trucks and saw the smoke.

“It was hard,” Hatch said. “Most businesses are not part of the community the way this one is…still is.”

Cathy Hennig moved to the Capitol Hill area two years ago. She lives a block from Frager’s.

Right before the fire, Hennig said she was getting ready to repaint her kitchen. After the fire, she decided to postpone the project until after Frager’s re-opened.

“As a newbie, this is so convenient and so great and it just good to see them back,” Hennig said.

In a couple weeks, Frager’s expects to re-open its hardware store on 13th and E in Southeast. But the ultimate goal is to re-open everything here at its original location.

“If your house burned down and you loved your house, you’d want to rebuild your house on the same lot, right? It’s our home,” Wilson said.

{ }