This story has been updated with comment from George Williamson, Karen Hauck and Marilyn Belak.
A giant sign posted marks the end of an era on Goss Avenue, a street that serves as the dividing line between the Germantown and Schnitzelburg neighborhoods.
Hauck’s Handy Store, a more than 105-year-old institution, and other nearby properties owned by the family are now listed for sale.
The properties, which include 998-1004 Goss Ave., 1008 Goss Ave. and 1315 Hoertz Ave., are listed by real estate agent Tim Mulloy.
George Williamson, an agent with Mulloy Commercial Real Estate, told Insider that the six properties are a package deal, listed at $1.39 million, and that since putting up the sign yesterday, the company has already received calls.
“They are retiring, and we are honored to work for them,” Williamson said of store’s third-generation owners Lynn Hite and Karen Hauck.
Williamson declined to say what the listing price was but said they believe a restaurant or other retail would be a good fit for the two-story Hauck’s Handy Store building.
Thursday, Karen Hauck was working in the store.
“It’s just time,” she said, noting that she and her sister are in their 60s. “We said we’d hang on as long as we could.”
Neither she nor her sister had children, leaving selling the best option, Hauck noted, adding that their father George Hauck, now in his late 90s, was aware of the plans. She called the decision “difficult” and “emotional,” which is why it took them until now to line up a real estate agent.
Customers came in to buy something, chat about the sale or both Thursday after the news broke. For many, Hauck’s is as much a store as a neighborhood hang out.
“I’m very upset, as Karen would guess,” said Marilyn Belak, looking at Hauck and giving a little smile.
Belak, a real estate agent who lives down the street, said she visits Hauck’s most days for little items that she needs and also because her dog gets treats from the owners.
“This is my go-to place,” she said. “I can’t imagine this not being here. … We all grew up with a store like this.”
The sisters aren’t interested in selling their name or the iconic sign that hangs on its exterior, meaning once the properties sell, the corner of Goss Avenue and Hoertz Avenue (also known as George Hauck Way) will look very different.
Hite told Insider in 2017 that she’s read about the boom in Germantown and Schnitzelburg but had not experienced it. “None of that has really brought business into us,” she said at the time.
Hauck’s Handy Store was previously run by George Hauck, a Louisville institution himself, who founded the annual World Famous Dainty Contest in 1971. The event has drawn people to Goss Avenue for decades to either participate or watch as people attempt to hit a small stick as far as they can with a larger stick.
Following the news of the sale, Ron Bolton, president of the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council, posted encouragement on the group’s Facebook page.
We are Schnitzelburg.
The last few years have brought us many changes. Old friends have left and new friends have come. Our favorite places have closed only to be replaced by new favorites. Despite all of this we have remained a strong cohesive community. THIS WILL NOT CHANGE. We will continue to enjoy the events that have defined us for more than a generation. We will continue to create new events that will define the next generation. No matter what,
We. Are. The Schnitz.
And I am damn proud of that fact
The council also noted in a comment that it would continue the dainty contest. Most of the commenters expressed mixed emotions, both sadness that the Haucks family has decided to sell and happiness for the family that has worked hard for many decades.
One noted that with rising property values and prices, the sale was only a matter of time.
The Haucks family has owned three of the six properties listed for sale since at least the 1960s, if not earlier, according to county property records. County property records list the Hauck’s as owners of the land Hauck’s Handy Store sits on since 1971, though it is unclear from online records if they owned it before that. The other two were purchased in 1997.
The five properties that aren’t Hauck’s Handy Store are: three shotguns, a camelback and a duplex. Three are zoned commercially, despite outwardly appearing to serve as residences. The other two are zoned residential.