Frager’s delays opening of temporary store until Sunday


Frager's President Jay Somers (L) talks on the phone while employee Roberto Valdes (C ) stacks recovered computer equipment following a massive fire at the beloved Frager's Hardware Store in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2013. (Linda Davidson/THE WASHINGTON POST)
June 8, 2013

A scheduled Saturday opening for the fire-ravaged Frager’s Hardware store’s temporary stall at Eastern Market has been pushed back until Sunday to give the staff more time to move merchandise and get set up, the owner’s wife, Fran Weintraub, said.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray will be at a ribbon-cutting at noon Sunday, four days after the Capitol Hill store’s three buildings burned in a four-alarm fire that remains under investigation.

Weintraub said they anticipated a soft opening Saturday, sort of a trial run, but then concluded they could not set up fast enough. “It’s actually a good thing,” she said. “The staff can now get everything set up and be ready for the onslaught.”

The mayor’s spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro, said Frager’s will use a tented stall on a pad set up for displaced merchants of the 2007 fire at Eastern Market.

He said the store’s nursery section had water damage but was otherwise unaffected by the fire. Employees were busy Saturday moving gardening equipment and plants to the temporary stall.

But because investigators have just begun searching for a cause, which could take weeks or months, officials escorted the workers in and out of the building to make sure they didn’t get hurt and so they didn’t trample any evidence.

D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) , who helped store owner John Weintraub secure his new stall, said those involved “are happy to have this location. . . . We got it immediately. If there’s a day’s delay, then there’s a day’s delay. I’m very pleased with the administration.”

Fran Weintraub urged shoppers to come Sunday wearing Frager’s T-shirts.

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