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Drive-by window shopping

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There are two woodworking establishments I’ve driven by repeatedly over the years without stopping, so recently I checked them out online. I wish I’d stopped in instead.

Because it’s often the best way to get to the airport, I’ve driven a small loop of I-275 near Cincinnati countless times over the years when visiting family. Each time I do I’ve been intrigued by an enormous water tower in Cleves, Ohio, with the logo “Bruewer Woodwork” emblazoned across the tank. Every time I’ve driven past there I’ve promised myself that on the next trip I’d allow extra time to stop and check it out. Now back home after visiting last week, I went online to see what it was.

Turns out that it’s pretty impressive. They have a 165,000-sq.-ft. facility and specialize in store fixtures, cabinetry, commercial casework, millwork and solid surface. The photos of their work on their website are outstanding, and – in business since 1963 – they appear to be a very successful company.

Meanwhile, since moving to Pennsylvania last spring I’ve driven to Cincinnati four times, each time passing a place called “The Hardwood Mall” in Emlenton, Pa., just a few miles from the Allegheny National Forest. As with Bruewer Woodwork, I’ve wanted to allow time to go there but always seem to forget. I found them online and the place looks awesome. They offer all kinds of lumber, including large slabs and reclaimed lumber. Partnering with other regional woodworking businesses they also offer live-edge furniture (Corey Morgan Wood Works), reclaimed furniture (Strong Oaks Woodshop), custom cabinets (Riverwood Cabinetry) and quite a bit more. Kind of a one-stop shop for woodworking.

Although I regret never having visited each of these businesses, I’m glad I finally researched them online. On my next trip out that way, I’ll have no trouble remembering to allow plenty of time for a satisfyingly lengthy visit to both of them.


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