Robbinsdale Marine to Close After 50+ Years, Welna Ace Hardware to Expand
A longtime fixture of Robbinsdale’s downtown business scene will soon close its doors. Robbinsdale Marine will shut down after serving customers for 53 years.
Mark Toomey bought Robbinsdale Marine 19 years ago. He and his technicians have serviced countless lawnmowers, snowblowers and boat motors.
“Some of the people have been coming here since the 60s,” said Toomey.
Toomey says a couple factors played into the decision.
“I’m getting tired, body’s wore out, it’s time to quit,” he said.
But he says a slow decline in business also was a factor. He attributed that largely to changing weather patterns.
“Last summer the drought was bad enough where we had no work,” said Toomey. “This winter was the same way, work at the beginning of winter, and then it dies off so you’re sitting there with months where if you’re making $50 bucks a day you’re lucky. And that doesn’t pay your lights, your heat, nothing.”
Robbindale Marine plans to take new orders until mid-April and then spend a few weeks cleaning up before the shop officially closes in late May.
‘They will be missed’
Welna Ace Hardware bought the Robbinsdale Marine building. The hardware store plans to move most of its lawn and garden business into the space.
“We’ve heard it over and over again, we wish you carried live plants but we just didn’t have room for it,” said Mark Welna.
The new space will also give Welna more parking and room to showcase grills and other items.
“Maybe Christmas trees outside and then Christmas lights and expand that and maybe seasonal stuff,” said Welna.
Welna added that it’s hard to see another small business close.
“They will be missed, they’ve been a really good neighbor,” he said.
Mark Toomey says closing is mostly an economic decision but it’s still emotional.
“I got a lot of people I got to be really good friends with and that part will be really tough,” he said. “I’ve seen them come and go the ones that have passed that were really good friends and that will be a tough thing, you’ll miss that.”