Less than a week after a fire ravaged Frager's Hardware, the beloved 93-year-old Capitol Hill mainstay, the store is back at a temporary location.
Sitting upon a concrete slab along Seventh Street SE that temporarily housed Eastern Market when it burned in 2007, Frager's outdoor "pop-up shop" opened Sunday with words from Mayor Vincent Gray (D) and D.C. Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), according to WAMU.
"Frager’s Hardware is one of the most beloved businesses in the District, and none of us can imagine the Capitol Hill community without Frager’s," Gray told a large crowd who gathered for the opening, while also iterating the city's intent to help Frager's rebuild, something Norton also touched on.
"We need Frager's. If Frager's needs us, I'm here to tell them for sure we need Frager's," said Norton, according to DCist.
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According to the Frager's website, the temporary site will be open seven days a week selling "survivor" plants, as well as pottery and garden supplies, saved from the fire.
Frager's owner John Weintraub said the he was been "overwhelmed" by the support of the community. "People have been hugging me on the street, it's been wonderful," Weintraub said at the opening, reiterating his intent to rebuild.
The community support for Frager's has been extremely visible, out in Eastern Market, and on the web. The Capitol Hill Community Foundation was out in Eastern Market Sunday collecting donations. According to WTOP, the organization has already raised over $74,000, which may be used to help Frager's employees out of work, in addition to helping the Capitol Hill businesses affected by the fire.
An online fundraiser organized by Capitol Hill resident Julia Robey Christian had raised over $30,000 before it ended at the request, according to the donations page, of The Capitol Hill Community Foundation.
Other residents are taking to the arts to help raise funds.
Sculptor Kasse Andrews-Weller, a retired, disabled military veteran who has lived in the Capitol Hill neighborhood since 1991, is selling a sculpture she built to benefit the store.
The sculpture, titled "Stan's Stand," and modeled after the roadside fruit and vegetable stands that lined the streets where she lived in Georgia, won first place for its narrative at a reception Friday at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop.
Keller explained to The Huffington Post that Frager's has always been there when she needed an odd part, or something that a larger store wouldn't carry.
"When the whole Frager's thing started, I'm going golly, where am I going to go for one nail, one washer?" she said.
Know other ways the community is helping those affected by the Frager's fire? Let us know at email@example.com.