| by Elaine Marranzano |
After nearly 60 years, Hank’s Alley, Tarrytown’s premier antique and used furniture store, is closing. Janet Falasca, sister of proprietor Hank Bucci, who died on June 17 at age 82, was in the store on a September weekend, along with Hank’s wife, Nancy, selling the remainder of the curiosity shop’s inventory at steep discounts.
“It’s the end of an era,” said Falasca, while wrapping ceramics in newspaper preparing them for sale elsewhere.
Bucci’s father started the business in North Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow) on Beekman Avenue. Hank, the oldest of five children, ran the business with his dad and adopted his philosophy: “A quick dollar is better than a slow 10.” Hank was a hustler, in a good way. “He used to have a map with business cards from other dealers tacked all over it. They would come to him to buy. That’s how good our prices were,” said Janet. The store was even included in Fodor’s Places to Go in the Hudson Valley.
After 35 years, the business moved to North Washington Street in an old trolley shop where treasures, waiting to be discovered, were piled to the ceiling in the dim and dusty rooms.
For 13 years, Susan Dudick lived across the street on North Washington. “Hank was part of my peripheral life,” she wrote on Facebook. “I could hear him dealing with customers and the sound of his voice was reassuring. I constantly looked out my window to see what treasures were coming in.”
Seven years ago, the business moved again, this time to 24 Kaldenberg Place. Bucci bought the old firehouse building from the Village of Tarrytown and the legend continued.
“I got four awesome prints for my store at Hanks!” wrote Colleen Goudie on Facebook. Goudie is the owner of ShaLula on Main Street. “They turned out to be originals!! I always send tourists there for some fun!”
But the fun of hunting for bargains at Hank’s is now a thing of the past. “Crazy Hank, a life-long Tarrytowner and father of six, is gone. Hank’s dog, Chip, has a new home and the building is “almost” sold, according to Nancy.
“I’ll miss Hank: his sass, his hustle, his gruff kindness,” wrote Tanya Monier on Facebook, describing Hank as her “second-hand-furniture-dealing crush.” “He told me once, ‘Honey, you got hustle, and I mean that as a compliment.’”
For a long time, a life-sized, carved, wooden goat with a sign saying: “Not for sale. This old goat belongs to this old goat” watched over the store from its position near the ceiling.
Now, the old goat is for sale and the store will likely be closed by the end of September.