by Kevin Walsh

Back in 2016 I was enthusiastically noting Bartunek Hardware’s ancient sign at its #28-07 23 Avenue location, nearby the Ditmars Boulevard N train station. The store has been in business since 1925, making it Queens’ oldest hardware store. It can be seen in this 1940 tax photo in the Municipal Archives. Until just a couple of years ago, it boasted a gorgeous plastic-lettered sign, dominated by white and red, but also green, orange, blue and purple.

All good things… the saying goes, and now we have this yellow and black object, with lettering more appropriate for comic books. I honestly don’t know what the owners were thinking, removing the beautiful original.

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.



Mark Phillips September 7, 2021 - 2:39 pm

The font affectionately known as “Gilligan’s Island.”

Joe+Fliel September 8, 2021 - 9:51 pm

It looks like a crummy imitation of the old Shindig TV show title sequence or a really bad attempt at copying Tuesnight font. Either way, it sucks.

Zog September 7, 2021 - 6:20 pm

New sign still a great store.

Doug Peterson September 7, 2021 - 7:02 pm

Pretty much godawful, at least in my opinion. I thought (at first) that it might just be a bad hand-fashioned job, but consistency across repeated letters — even when the sizes vary — suggests that the effect was intentional. It’s completely out of character with the building, and borders on eyesore-ness.

Pete September 7, 2021 - 9:07 pm

Needs some kerning between the W and A in ..WARE. The older sign can be still be seen with an image search for Bartunek Hardware

Sunnysider September 8, 2021 - 8:43 am

It looks like it was written in ancient Viking runes.

therealguyfaux September 8, 2021 - 4:49 pm

In 2071, if there’s still an Internet and someone still wants to do a Forgotten-NY type of website, that person may well gushover how Bartunek’s still has that whimsical sign from the Twenties. That is, if there’s still a Bartunek’s. Or, they may bemoan that the 2020’s sign was removed and replaced by some sign THEY think is somehow inappropriate. That’s the way things go with these kinds of things, isn’t it?

Edward September 10, 2021 - 4:04 pm

I kinda like the newer sign. It’ll get the younger folks in the door to shop for hardware items, and ain’t that what storefront signs are for? The old one, while cool, screamed “old, disorganized hardware store” circa 1955, and I don’t think the kids today are keen on that image.

Joe+Fliel September 10, 2021 - 11:09 pm

Kevin, Bartunek’s address is 28-07 23rd Avenue.


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