In this edition of 'Once Upon a Time in Lubbock', we look at the original "Do It Yourself" home improvement center, Handy Dan!

It was located at 3225 50th Street right next door to what is now Planet Fitness. (It was Albertsons at the time.)

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

From The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - August 18, 1973, via

Saturday Morning, August 18, 1973—LUBBOCK AVALANCHE-JOURNAL"—THE DO-IT-YOUSELF STORE... Handy Dan Opens First Store in Lubbock Sunday, August 19 at 10 A.M. The beautiful 45,000 square foot Handy Dan Home Improvement Center opens in Lubbock for the first time. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 3225 50th Street at Indiana. Officiating at the ceremony will be Handy Dan's 75 Lubbock employees headed by store manager Juan Cortez and executives of Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers, Inc. Offering a completely new concept in retailing. Handy Dan strongly appeals to the home handy man.

Wow, that was quite a description.

This was one of the first "Big Box" home improvement stores, long before Lubbock saw Lowe's, Home Depot or Sutherlands. (Or Builder's Square! But that is for a future edition!)

But wait, they had more to say about this 'New Concept' in 1973.

But we also cater to the wife with a creative flair, the arts and crafts fans, in fact any modern homemaker with a desire to improve the appearance of his home or apartment. -Much like a food super market, the store provides the shopper with a cart and he then leisurely strolls through the dozens of departments stocked in unbelievable depth, not of course, in foods but in every conceivable need for home improvement. Upon completion of the simplified selection, the customer is checked out rapidly and is on his way to complete that pet project. 'I’he concept was first applied over four years ago (1969) by Handy Dan at its first two stores in San Antonio, where the idea became an instant hit with the homemaker.

Well, they sure like to refer to the homemaker as his and him a lot. Times were different then.

I have not been able to find a definite closing date, but I last remember the store being around in 1984.

Do you remember Handy Dan? Let us know in the comments below, and let us know what you would like to see us cover in future editions!


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