By Krystal Knapp
The motto at Paint ’N Place these days is out with the paint, in with the mirrors and glass.
After more than four decades as a paint store, the Parkside Avenue business will close as a neighbor store and Ewing Glass will expand into its space.
Steve McClenney, the owner of Paint ’N Place and Ewing Glass, has decided it is finally time to enjoy the retired life. His business will remain in the family though.
McClenney will still co-own the expanded Ewing Glass with his stepson, Paul Bernhard Jr., who has been running the glass department for 13 years.
Ewing Glass, which is currently next to Paint ’N Place near the corner of Olden Avenue, will move in to the larger Paint’N Place space as soon as the inventory is cleared out (which spells big sales). McClenney anticipates that will happen around the end of June.
The decision to close the paint shop can be attributed, McClenney said, to changing demographics.
When McClenney, a Virginia native, came to the store as a manager in 1969 from Baltimore, the shop was a Pittsburgh Paints company store. By 1976, there were four thriving paint stores at the intersection of Olden and Parkside Avenues, a notion that is met with incredulous expressions in the era of the big-box store.
Glidden had a store at 1776 N. Olden Ave., what today is the Community Blood Council of New Jersey, Inc. was a hardware store that sold paint and then Color Tile moved in to the Mrs. G site that had burned down in 1971.
“During lunch time, the store was constantly bustling with activity from all the workers who came in to buy paint on their lunch hour,” McClenney said. “We had to have three sales people at the register to help out because it was so busy.”
Workers from places like General Motors, the Naval Air Warfare Center and Hill Refrigeration shopped in town before or after work or during lunch hour. When they left or closed, business slowed down.
Pittsburgh Paints decided to sell its company stores in 1978 and sell its products through distributors. When they did, McClenney took over the lease to the building and opened up his own paint store.
He opened up his glass shop in 1980 after seeing the need for a local glass supplier and has built up relationships with a loyal clientele.
Ewing Glass sells glass for windows, mirrors, storefronts, mirrored studios, frameless showers and tabletops, to name just some of kinds of projects they do. They also do repairs and can turn around insulated glass window repairs the same day. They have three trucks out on the road every day installing glass.
In order to make room for the glass, all Paint ’N Place inventory is being sold at 40 percent off. McClenney said he will have sidewalk sales Saturdays and Sundays in May. At the sidewalk sale, paint brands like Pittsburgh, Dutch Boy and Pratt and Lambert will be sold for as low as $6 a gallon.
Ewing Glass and Mirror can be reached at (866) 490-8676.