If its full name––Two Fat Guys Summerfield Ace Hardware––isn't a clue about this store's unconventional nature, maybe its pet shop is. Or perhaps that distinction belongs to its owners' related endeavor: not only do Rick and Smokey inspire ambitious homeowners with rows of home-improvement implements, but they also encourage handiness by taking to the airwaves with a weekly hardware radio show. Summerfield Ace Hardware also doubles as a U-Haul Center, and animals are welcome, especially if they're able to drive a U-Haul but also if they just want to sniff around the pet shop. Prepping for barbecue season is a cinch on these premises: in the words of Rick and Smokey, "With a name like the Two Fat Guys you might expect that we have a complete grilling center and we offer assembly and delivery." Salespeople are trained to answer nearly any home-improvement question their customers ask, and a wide selection of hardware, paint, plumbing, and electrical supplies shares space with gifts, home decor, and housewares.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Ferguson Hardware has been helping do-it-yourselfers spruce up homes and beautify gardens for more than a century. Banish closet clutter or marauding garden weeds to a 32-gallon black trash can ($21.49), which can double as a handy holding place for a 32-day supply of vintage milk. Handy customers can organize screwdrivers, wrenches, and hammers in a Stanley toolbox ($13.99), soothe crying hinges with an 8-ounce can of WD-40 oil ($2.99), or woo a lonely mail carrier with a Step 2 mailbox specially designed to attract attention for its durability and taste in shoes. A professional-grade driveway sealer keeps tricky asphalt from escaping the confines of driveways ($17.49), giving customers the freedom to roll out one of Ferguson Hardware’s wide selection of Weber grills for a driveway barbecue.
Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity aims to eliminate substandard housing by building, renovating, and repairing homes in partnership with low-income families. As part of the process of receiving a Habitat home, these partner families commit to 500 hours of sweat equity, helping to build the homes and then making zero-interest monthly mortgage payments. Cincinnati Habitat volunteer crews build about 20 homes a year in the Cincinnati area.
BounceSpot's pint-sized citizens romp through a colorful panorama of inflatable entertainment. With feet clad in socks or stuffed into willing sock puppets, kids can frolic through a labyrinth of inflatable moonwalks, slides, and obstacle courses. At the end of each day, the BounceSpot staff sanitizes every inch of the inflatable obstacle courses and ticket-arcade machines that span the 11,000-square-foot play space. These meticulous scrub-downs are part of BounceSpot’s policy to foster a safe, cheerful environment. Staffers also supervise bounce houses to ensure kids play gently and haven’t smuggled in performance-enhancing pogo sticks.
As kids clamber across colorful inflatables, parents can lounge at nearby tables and cruise complimentary WiFi or stop by the concession stand for pizza and ice cream.