It was like old home week Wednesday, when friends and neighbors filed in to the Havliceks' new Ace Hardware Store on West State Street.
One valued customer, Ron Winter of Ron Winter's Handyman Service, was waiting in the parking lot at 5 a.m. to be the first to walk in the door. The store is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
For the "soft opening" on Wednesday, customer after customer stopped to shake George and Lynn Havlicek's hand, give a hug or just say, "We're glad you're back."
"Seems like that's the sentiment today," George Havlicek said. "We're excited. The anticipation has been amazing. It's been a long process."
Ace Hardware was sold to Mike Dickson, who changed the name to and eventually to the former Dominick's building on West State Street near Randall Road in St. Charles. That hardware store and is having a.
Meanwhile, landlord and former Ace Hardware owner Geneva would have another Ace with new tenants in the original location at 617 W. State St. The Havliceks started making improvements in September, had by the Christmas holidays, but weren't able to open doors until Jan. 4.
"We still have a lot to do, but we're happy with the way it turned out," George Havlicek said.
The new store has a lounge with popcorn and coffee and a big-screen TV. It has a very nice housewares section where they're building a working kitchen for demostrations by local chefs.
"It's not your typical hardware-store housewares," said Lynn Havlicek, who wants the store to be just as inviting for women as it is for men.
They've got grills, power tools, paint—everything from screws to nuts, as you would expect from a hardware store. By spring, they hope to have an expanded outdoor area for a lawn-and-garden center
The new Ace also has a lot of familiar faces, and, for sure on Wednesday, a great vibe when you walk in the door.
The official grand opening is expected sometime this spring, possibly on the weekend of April 13-14, when there will be "surprises, celebrities and giveaways," George Havlicek said.
The hardware store always has been among the top sales-tax contributors to the city of Geneva.
The Havliceks have been Genevans for more than 25 years. George owns Havlicek Builders and has built and remodeled many of the homes in the area. Lynn manages Cabinets at Danada, with locations in Geneva and Wheaton.