Grand Lake Ace Hardware
1221 Grand Ave., Piedmont, 510-652-1936
Remember what hardware stores used to be like? Anyone could go in, pick up something — let's just say a drill bit — pay and leave without having to traverse an area roughly the size of North America. Such an old-fashioned hardware store can be found right on University and Walnut in Berkeley. Berkeley Ace Hardware is an old-style establishment: nice and compact, plenty of helpful clerks, and nothing extraneous. The downstairs level is a toy and hobby shop that sells all kinds of car and train models. On your way out, you can find just about anything to get you through the day, from gum to Otter Pops.