Best Hobbyist’s Basement

Berkeley Ace Hardware

There are several East Bay shops that could get a “Best Hardware Store”
award, including El Cerrito’s Pastime Hardware and Oakland’s Marcus
Supply, but only Berkeley Ace Hardware has a secret weapon in its
basement: a full-blown hobby shop. Many will recall the basement for
its model railroading supplies (which still includes an excellent stock
of track, trains, controllers, paint, plus scale people, animals, and
buildings), but its selection of model kits, particularly airplanes, is
even more impressive. Domestic and Japanese kits crowd the shelves and
range from beginner’s snap-together sets to advanced, finely detailed
paint-and-glue models. Those looking to recapture their childhood will
like throwback kits that include Weird-ohs and George Barris custom-car
reproductions. If assembly-required is not your thing, there’s a
healthy stock of die-cast items, including large collections of Hot
Wheels and Johnny Lightning, as well as slot cars, model rockets, and a
crafts section. This is an ideal place to while away a Saturday morning
spending the proceeds from lawn cutting, paper delivery, car washing,
or lemonade selling.

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