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Hardware Store Finds New Home on Greenpoint Avenue After Sunnyside Fire

Roy Ramlall, owner of Better Line Hardware, at his new 43-24 Greenpoint Ave. location (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Jan. 9, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez

One of the six Queens Boulevard businesses that was destroyed in the massive five-alarm fire last month has already found a new place to call home right in the neighborhood.

Better Line Hardware, once located off Queens Boulevard on 45th Street, will be reopening about two blocks away at 43-24 Greenpoint Ave. by the end of the month.

Roy Ramlall, who has owned the hardware store since 1993, said he found the corner site, once home to Greenpoint Grill, just two days after the Dec. 13 fire.

43-24 Greenpoint Ave., where Better Line Hardware will open later this month. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Ramlall, 50, and his three employees began working on fixing up the shop last Thursday, with about one-fourth of their shelves stocked so far.

The new store will retain its name, and will also carry the same line of products and offer the same services to customers.

The hardware store had been located at the 45th Street site since 1990, and saw a steady stream of customers in its 28-year run there.

Ramlall, who bought the business from the prior owner three years later, said it was actually a customer who called him in the early morning hours of the fire to tell him about the store.

“I was shocked,” Ramlall said. “But I just sat on my bed—and went back to bed because there was nothing I could do.”

The entrance to the hardware store on 45th Street after the Dec. 13 fire. (Photo: Roy Ramlall)

“It’s burning,” he added. “I can’t come over here. What am I gonna do, just look at that?”

But Ramlall eventually went to the site after waking at 5 a.m., only to find the charred remains of his business.

“Everything was gone,” he said.

The new corner store is about the same size as the prior location, with Ramlall estimating that every inch of the shop, from floor to ceiling, will be stocked just like the arrangement of the former store.

Ramlall, a Guyanese native who lives in Jamaica, said the Greenpoint Avenue location marks the third move for the hardware store.

The shop, he said, had been located at the corner of 41st Street and Queens Boulevard, now the site of a TD Bank, since 1939 before it moved to 45th Street in 1990.

Ramlall worked for the prior owner of the hardware store during his college years before eventually buying the business from him.

Apart from Better Line Hardware, the UPS store that was also destroyed in the fire is inching closer to opening back up as a pop-up store in the area.

Leena and Tony Tang, owners of the UPS Store, at the Sunnyside Shines fire relief fundraiser in December. (Photo: Queens Post)

Tony Tang, who opened the UPS store in 2009, told the Sunnyside Post that he is working out a deal with a Queens Boulevard landlord for a store near his prior location.

Tang did not provide specifics just yet on where the store might go, but said that the deal would likely go through this weekend. He added that the store would require permissions from UPS corporate before it opens.

Other business owners impacted by the fire have also indicated their interest in reopening nearby, including Bryan Chunton, who owns Zen Yai.

Fire relief efforts, meanwhile, are ongoing. Sunnyside Shines, which has led fundraising and other organizing events, launched a week-long online charity auction on Jan. 4 to raise money for those impacted by the fire.

Auction items include entertainment tickets, a golf outing, a dinner cruise, YMCA membership and more.

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20 Comments

AnaBNana

Glad to hear folks are hopefully going to stay in the ‘hood. Sidetracks is iconic, and I visited Leena’s and Tony’s UPS store frequently, and it’s horrible now that they’re not down the street! I look forward to a new UPS store opening here! Good luck all, and much success!

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Queens Streets for All

So happy to hear this news. My friend Nance and I bought a screwdriver there once and they were so helpful. Parking is easy by the new location too! Always a plus.

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CelticParker

Think we’re ever going to hear how and where the fire started? No, you say? You’re probably right.

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El loco

Do you ever hear how other fires in the city started? Is it public information? Do you think it’s a conspiracy to put more 6 story buildings, nail salons and Colombian restaurants in Sunnyside that we haven’t heard about it?

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sunnyguy

I’m so happy and can’t wait for them to reopen! They were by far the best hardware store around and I’ve been missing them terribly.

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Guest

Great news, I hope owners thrive at the new locations, that corner at greenpoint opened and closed way too many times with different businesses. They tried, nothing seemed to work. Hardware store is a good choice, although there is another one at the end of the block on queens blvd, and another on 46th.

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Pee wee

Glad to see him get back up on his feet. Sunnyside post never reported on what caused the fire.

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Marion J Drage

Wonderful news. I hope the other businesses come back as well and that the neighborhood doesn’t get an ugly high rise on the destroyed site.

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Janet

So happy for the hardware store! I wish you well. Thank you for staying in the neighborhood. God Bless You.

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Beentheredonethat

I always found what I wanted, and more I disn’t Know I needed, at that store. Good luck! I’ll see you soon.

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El loco

Good job Roy and Tony. We’ll be there supporting you when you come back. Hope Sidetracks can also find a place. Also the lingerie store. My wife hasn’t been in a good mood since it closed.

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j murphy

Know these guys since they opened…..felt the sorriest for them and the loss….best of luck…..i will buy there before homedepot!

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Doc

Awesome, Better Line was my go to hardware store. Unlike Home Depot they always seemed to have just what I needed in stock.

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Johnny Cheeks

Not sure why all the downvotes…they always have what I need as well unlike the the other 2 hardware stores on 46th and on 44th. “I’ll have to order it” are the other 2 stores favorite saying

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