Baller Hardware gives Silver Lake some street cred, because it can’t be all hipsters with film projects and pink hair, bushy beards, and dark inky sleeves. People have to meet at other places besides cold-press juice bars, artisinal high-process coffee joints, and curated wine gatherings. There has to be some authentic pedigree in the social engineering of Silver Lake and BALLER is it. Old School. Nice ’n’ Easy. Like a business from another era, and not a hyper-precious, Old Timey, tin piano charm, but more Aerosmith and Trucker Girl mud flaps feel. Plus, they’ve got what you need.
When it comes to a D.I.Y. project, or your contractor needs a specific carriage bolt that’s 5/16”, it’s all there: keys, plumbing gadgets, gardening materials, electric fans, paint chips, saws, chains, tools, cleaning supplies, something framed or anything in the realm of artsy supplies, B A L L E R is your place. And it’s not just that the store has what we all need at some point in any given season, it’s the entire feel of the place; the discernible fact that very little has changed for decades becomes apparent when you walk in.
Sometimes it seems like everything you love gets discontinued, so the first question I asked Craig Cowie about Baller Hardware was whether they owned the property. I had to brace myself for the possibility that Baller could be forced out, and replaced by some town-homes, or something in that ken.
I’m delighted to confirm a few things. The family owns the property, and they have since the 1950s. The man who started the store, but is no longer with us, is referred to as Papa Baller, with all due respect. It’s still a family run business. The phone number was (still is) N O R M A N D I E 5 – 4149. And they have no plans to sell, and close shop.
Craig Cowie, the youngest sibling on the trunk of the main Family Tree runs the place, along with a posse of men and women that spark a sense of the Old Western Saloon, minus the shoot out scene. Baller is like a favorite watering hole with no tap and no stools, but straight service. You go in, you need something, and the possible solution gets slid to your hand no frills. They’re not obsequious and there’s no lady-brain coddling, which I like. I mean, I own a drill, but either the charger or the actual drill have gone missing, and I’m not sure which, because drills creep me out. However that doesn’t stop me from shooting videos of stuff that’s gone wrong at my house, driving to this store, and literally asking one of the guys to watch it, and tell me what might fix it. They’re indispensable.
This is Craig Cowie & his nephew, Joe.
Some of the Baller Guys
Shephard Fairey seems to like the place, he’s local, and his mural is on the wall of Baller’s left bank, where the art supplies are.
2505 Hyperion Ave. 90027 | 323.665-4149
| Mon-Fri 7:00 A.M. – 6:00 | Sat. 8:00 – 6:00 | Sun. 9:00 – 4:30 |