Frank Bain outside his Ocean Avenue hardware store, where all the inventory was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)
By WIL FULTON
This isnt a competition,” said a stone-faced Frank Bain, when asked if his would be the first business to reopen in Sea Bright after Hurricane Sandy.
But checking in on recent activity at Bain’s Hardware, a visitor might conclude that not only was Bain in a race, but one that his life depended on winning.
One late afternoon last week, the Ocean Avenue storefront was a swarm of dust-encrusted laborers, some installing new subflooring even as others continued with interior demolition work. At one point, an impromptu crew, Bain included, picked up and hustled the pieces of a shattered street lamp from the sidewalk out front to the side of the building.
Make no mistake about it: Bain is in a major hurry. With no flood insurance and every item in his 65,000-SKU shop destroyed, his economic life hangs in the balance, he’s the first to admit. “Getting that register ringing again is paramount,” he told redbankgreen.
But he’s driven just as much, he said, by the importance of his store to other businesses and homeowners who themselves are faced with rebuilding challenges. We are out here working so that we can get back on our feet and help this town as soon as humanly possible, he said.