Hardware store sold

A changing of the guard is occurring at a long-time and recognizable area family-run business.

David Hedrick, who owns and operates student housing, is taking over Barr’s Hardware.

Hedrick has been described as a long-time loyal customer of the Williamsport store, with many of his rental properties located near the store at West Fourth and Rose streets in Williamsport.

“I plan on being pretty hands-on,” Hedrick said. “I have to learn it (the business) fast.”

Hedrick said he’s excited about taking over Barr’s.

Over the years, he had noted the busyness of the store.

“Mike talked to me about it. He thought it would be a good fit with my other businesses,” he said.

Mike Barr, the store’s longtime owner, has been involved with Barr’s Hardware for many years.

His father, William C. “Bill” Barr, and his mother, Dorothy “Dot” Barr started out operating a candy, magazine and watch repair shop in South Williamsport, according to a history of the business put together by the family.

With the untimely death of his father, Mike and his mother took over the store.

The store transitioned into a hardware enterprise as Mike assumed ownership and a younger brother, Bill, and Dot continued on with its operation.

The second Barr’s Hardware was added in 1982 in Williamsport with Bill and his wife, Joanne, owning and running that store.

With the death of Bill in 2009, Dot continued operating the South Williamsport site.

Eventually, Mike and his wife Kim, bought back the South Williamsport store from Bill’s estate and in 2013 the two stores were merged.

A 1,300-square foot addition was added to the Williamsport location in 2015.

Mike Barr said it’s been challenging running the business over the years.

But he made it clear he is not retiring from business.

He will continue on with the family’s roofing company and real estate business.

Hedrick, for his part, said he plans to update the store to include online ship-to-store service and speedier check-outs. “I plan to do more marketing, create more of a social media presence,” he said.