Best Hardware Store Orange County 2011 - Woodward's Ace Hardware
Don't get misled by the name: Woodward's has an affiliation with the hardware mega-chain, but the sprawling Santa Ana shop is firmly under the control of Bill Woodward, who has run the store for decades. In addition to stocking the usual things hardware stores stock—doors, plants, soil, paint and the like—it also offers items specific to the tract homes in the surrounding neighborhoods, such as the right 1960s-era light fixtures and door handles, even Mason jars for home canners. Woodward is also a mensch: When an Irvine Ace Hardware closed last year, Woodward offered a job to the owner to make sure he'd have something in this rough economy. Friendly service is a given here, and don't worry about the large parrot who flies around the store: He's the general manager, and he won't poop on you.