Beacon Paint


Beacon Paint & Hardware was founded around 1900.
The store started as Beacon Paint & Varnish Co., later changed to Beacon Paint & Wallpaper, and later to its current name.

No, we are not the original family to own Beacon, but our father, Mel Stark, bought the store from the original family. Our grandfather, who was also in the paint business, knew the original owner.

From 1900 to 1940, Beacon Paint was located on the west side of Amsterdam Avenue between 77th & 78th streets. There was an A&P grocery store in the location where we are now. The back of the store is where they kept a horse and buggy to make milk deliveries. This information came from a man who lived on 78th Street and was the box boy back in the day.

In 1940, when the move was made, there was a woman who worked in the store. Because she was a “woman,” they wouldn't let her carry anything across the street. She came into the store back in the 80's and told us this. Once she made her purchase, I gave her an employee discount.

By 1971, our father purchased the store. While negotiating the deal, he sought the advice and counsel of our largest paint supplier, Benjamin Moore Paints. They told him that if he came up with one-third of the payment, they would come up with the rest (with very generous terms). Sadly, they don't make companies like this anymore.

As for the rest of us, we all came aboard at various times and have never looked back.

We watched as the neighborhood grew and got nicer and safer. We are proud to be a part of this community and neighborhood. And we are especially proud of all the things we do to help it.

Beacon has always been a more than just another hardware store. Always supportive of our neighbors and the community, we are proud to make customer service our No. 1 priority. Beacon takes pride in supporting its neighborhood, offering balloons to children and biscuits to dogs. Every holiday elicits a gift, the favorite being Halloween because Beacon gives out small toys. Valentine’s Day prompts a red rose for all female customers.

Beacon donates anything P.S. 87 needs for its holiday events, including decorations for their haunted house on Halloween and the donation of paint for murals. In fact, Beacon is a friend to all the local schools.

Beacon donates materials needed to clean graffiti off mailboxes and repaint them, as well as fire hydrants and yellow stripes near the hydrants. Beacon has also donated hundreds of gallons of mismatched paint to non-profits organizations.

Beacon also supports local block associations and is more than willing to become a paid member of any of them.

For 15 years, Beacon Paint has sponsored a walkathon to benefit various charities, including Guiding Eyes for the Blind, raising thousands of dollars over the years. Our next walkathon is scheduled for Spring 2017.

Beacon has donated its famous "Bucket O' Tools" to nearly every school in the neighborhood for the annual auction of each school.

Beacon has donated its famous "Bucket O' Tools" to nearly every school in the neighborhood for the annual auction of each school.

Bruce, who has worked at Beacon for 30-plus years (starting as a teenager) is known in the neighborhood as “The Mayor,” glad-handing just about any passer-by and chatting. Steven, who left a 17-year journalism career in 2000 to join the family business, is almost as well known, thanks in part to his trusty companion, a black Lab named Bru (named for Bruce!), whom he walks and plays with in and near the store. Bru is the store mascot.

Beacon has won numerous awards for its excellence, including: • 2008, North American Paint Dealer of the Year • 2008, New York City Small Business of the Year • 2009, Finalist, American Express "SHINE A LIGHT" campaign, shining a light on American small businesses. (Beacon finished in the top three from over 4,000 nominees) • 2011, West Side Spirit, Westy Award as Best Upper West Side Hardware Store

Beacon has received high marks from the annual Zagat Shopping Guide, which referred to it as a "resource the community's luck to have."

Beacon is also proud to be a 5-Star Company on Yelp.

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