HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Since 1948, Spring Glen Hardware has served the people of Hamden, and since then, there has always been a Landino behind the counter.

Frank Landino is the third generation. He started in college.

“My grandfather passed away and, ‘Could you help me for a week or two?’ Forty-five years later, I’m still here,” Landino explained.

But he and his brother and co-owner, Harry Landino, will not be there much longer. They put the “Going Out of Business” sign in the window on Monday. It was not easy to do.

“I made so many good friends here, and I’m going to miss them,” said Landino, his voice cracking.

You can tell it’s an emotional decision. Harry Landino didn’t even want to try to be on camera. Customers certainly don’t want to see them close.

“Frank is very friendly. Anything you need, he’s always there to help you,” said customer Silvio Colagiovanni. “You get a lot more one-on-one than going to a big box place; you know what I mean?”

“I come and get shoes repaired, I get keys cut, and find a lot of things I need,” said long-time customer Melinda Tuhus. “I’m really sad. It’s been a real institution, and it’s family-run.”

But the Landino brothers are getting older.

“Both of us have health issues that we have to deal with. We can’t do it anymore,” Frank said.

That is the only reason. They actually say business has been very good. The pandemic meant people did a lot of home projects, so they needed hardware stores more than ever. They hope someone will come along and buy the store from them.

A few people have expressed interest so far. If no one comes up with an offer, the Landinos plan to close sometime in January.

“I want to thank everybody. I want to thank all our customers for the support they’ve given us,” Landino said, his voice full of emotion.

People sure have a soft spot for a hardware store in their hearts.