Tina Visits Pfeiffer’s Hardware


It’s easy to overlook a tiny little mom and pop shop like Pfeiffer’s with all the new options mere blocks away, at the DCUSA mall, in Columbia Heights. Target might have everything you need, but there’s nothing quite like walking into a little neighborhood shop to be greeted with a friendly and sincere “hello, how can I help you?” quite often from the owner himself. The hardware store has been around for quite some time, but it’s only been Pfeiffer’s since December of 03 when Todd Pfeiffer and Adriana DiFranco took ownership. They live right in the neighborhood and you can tell they love it, they even sell some pretty sweet Mount Pleasant T-shirts.

It may not be as big as a Home Depot, but don’t let the tiny storefront fool you. Pfeiffer’s is packed full of just about every hardware item you can imagine. They don’t waste an inch in there! Need some loose screws or nails? Check the bins right next to the register. Want to paint your living room? Head to the back right corner. Gardening supplies? Across from the paint. Want to rent a drill? No problem, just 5 bucks a day. Looking for lumber or some drywall? Ask the staff and they’ll be happy to help you out. What’s that, you need something Pfeiffer’s doesn’t have? Well, you can put in a special order online and have it delivered to the store for pickup. If it turns out that it’s not what you need – no worries, it’s 100% returnable.

I really just think this place is great. I’m no girly-girl, but I’m not much of a DIY-er either. But every time I’ve stopped into Pfeiffer’s to get a spare set of keys made or to look for some appliance I don’t know the name of, the staff has always been helpful and super friendly. And they’ve never made me feel stupid when I ask for “those things that you stick in the drywall, you know, so your shelves don’t collapse? dollies?”


15 Comment

  • I wish err.. Cooper’s (name??) on 14th would also spruce up their interior to match the new nice exterior paint and signs (largely paid by a city grant). If they don’t and e.g. Logan Hardware or someone else opens a store near them… they don’t stand a chance.

  • Pfeiffer IS my store. I love that place

  • 3219 Mt. Pleasant St NW.

    It’s a great store deserving of everyone’s business. Cheery, well-planned and the prices are quite reasonable, even when compared to the big box retailers. Definitely check it out.

  • Poo poo, its on Mt. Pleasant St., more or less opposite the little square/park where the farmers market takes place. But yeah, PoP/Intern Tina, do try to put more detailed addresses to your various stories on retail and restaurants.

  • I can’t count the number of times I’ve made special trips out to Home Depot or Lowes for hardware type stuff and ended up really frustrated with either not getting assistance or not finding what I need, not to mention the hassles of driving. Sure enough – I end up a Pfeiffer’s and they almost always have what I’m looking for. Neighborhood places like this are such a great asset.

  • I love real hardware stores. Strohsneiders, 17th St, the late lamented Candey, Pfeiffer’s, and all of the Logan Hardware family. It’s just amazing how much better than the box stores these real places are.

  • Better service? Yes. Better prices? Not by a long shot. 9 time out of ten, you will do better at the big box. It’s a sad truth for most ‘indie’ stores. They can’t compete when it comes to prices, so they have to find other ways to convince you to part with your money.

  • Better service, better stock (that is, things that I want to buy, as opposed to a lot of stuff I don’t need. Things targeted to the neighborhood.)

    Prices – sometimes better, sometimes not. Still, I find it WELL worth paying the slight difference to get something close to home that is what I want, as opposed to driving (and paying for gas) out of my way to maybe get something that might resemble a bit what I want.

    dc dude, indeed, many of our local stores, especially the hardware stores, convince me to shop with them by being easily accessible, stocking what I want at fair prices, and stocking things targeted to the neighborhood. This is why I have yet to set foot in DC-USA. I don’t need all that crap. I just need my basics.

  • Pfeiffer’s — closed on Memorial Day Monday! Veterans are great, but won’t get my business if they’re never open

  • Pfeiffer’s is in many ways the anchor of the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. Todd is nice to a fault and always willing to help out folks in a pinch. He also really knows the neighborhood and the people living in it. Sometimes I think the staff are hired on considerations that have more to do with charity than experience, but what the hell. Todd himself is knowledgeable enough that if you need something done, he can tell how to get er done.

    As for the prices, Pfeiffer’s doesn’t have the same economy-of-scale advantage as Home Despot but most often the difference is negligible. And as for being closed on Memorial Day, um, gee, if you really want to boycott establishments that have the audacity to give their employees holidays off, well, knock yourself out. Please.

  • dcdude.

    They’re open 7 days a week, man.

    Whaddya’ mean never open?

  • You get what you pay for – service, convenience, and neighborly advice

    All I get a Home Depot is a headache and a reminder why I DON’T want to get my hardware from the worst store in town.

    Todd and the guys are great. I have often gone in with only an inkling of what I’m hoping to do at home and the guys help me come up with a plan.

    That’s what a real, neighborhood hardware store can do.

  • All, Thanks so much for your support. Coming across this blog and the replies in it means a lot to me. This feedback is the reason I own a small neighborhood store in a neighborhood full of good people.

    To the person who noticed our prices are higher than the big boxes: yes they are. We cannot compete on prices. We offer convenience and service and a relationship with the people who work at the store. We offer a hub of neighborhood conversation. We offer an alternative to the things we aren’t and we offer a connection to Mount Pleasant. I constantly tell my customers that raise the issue of price that if they want to save money, please, at the very least, count the cost of your time, the cost of your frustration at the big boxes and the cost of transportation into your equation. If you are buying hundreds of dollars of stuff, perhaps there is a cost savings and you might consider a big box.

    Please, all of us, keep this in mind: The real cost of shopping at the big boxes regularly will be a loss of our treasured neighborhood stores. By shopping locally, with independent businesses, you keep us in business.

    Even if you shop at the big boxes regularly, and only use us in emergencies or for the really small stuff, imagine those emergencies in the absence of stores like us. Not only would it be an even greater pain, but a neighborhood without neighborhood stores would be a bleak neighborhood indeed.

    Thanks so much for all of your support – especially to the Prince of Petworth.


    Todd Pfeiffer
    Pfeiffer’s Hardware

  • Does the store have propane tank exchange? i hate driving to NE just for that.

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