'Something good for the city': Johnstown handyman hoping to dress up Hornerstown, attract more commerce

·3 min read

Jul. 3—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — I Need That surplus store is a place for leather, and a lot more.

Paul Reighard and his wife, Michelle, opened the store about two months ago at 425 Horner St. in the Hornerstown section of Johnstown.

"We have a little bit of everything," Reighard said.

And Reighard does a little bit of everything.

He and Michelle opened the Hey Day Diner in downtown Johnstown in 2014, and he has owned C&P Handyman and Remodeling — next door to the surplus store — for almost 30 years.

"I had the empty building, with the construction company on the other side, and I had people wanting to rent it," he said. "So I figured I really didn't want to be a landlord and I did my own thing."

The inventory includes vanities, tubs, shower doors, air fryers, furniture, toys and leather apparel.

"There's no leather around Johnstown," Reighard said. "There's really nothing around, so people have to run to Greensburg or Altoona if you want leather."

The surplus store building was originally a gas station that was last open about a decade ago, he said.

"We need something down this way," Reighard said. "I've been seeing surplus stores pop up across the area and people seem to like them, plus it helps people save money. It helps with the construction business also — it helps my customers save with me because I can get things in a little cheaper through the store."

'I grew up here'

Reighard grew up in Johnstown's Kernville neighborhood.

"We want people to start investing down here," he said. "We want to do something good for the city. We want to see it succeed. I don't want to see it fail. I grew up here."

When one business starts succeeding, others will follow, he said.

"We watch out for each other," he said.

Reighard has found a warm welcome from one business owner especially, Kristy Hagan, who became the new owner of Flood City Café in Johnstown in 2019 and subsequently opened another business downtown, Elevate clothing store, in February of this year.

Hagan's clothing store is across the street from the Reighard's former Hey Day Diner, 526 Main St. Now empty, the diner was purchased in 2019 by real estate holding company Hazak LLC.

That company has announced plans to build a Voodoo brew pub at the site, though COVID-19 delayed that plan.

"I didn't know Paul prior to the surplus store," Hagan said.

"He used to own Hey Day, and he's very familiar with how downtown operates. We were able to chat. When he first opened, we were there because he does a nice job with social media. I bought two chairs for Elevate, as well as a propane heater. I definitely tell everyone about him being there in Hornerstown and the products he has at a really good price."

Hagan said she is encouraged by Reighard's development of Horner Street as well as downtown.

"I think more will be coming," she said. "If you have a strong will — little by little — if we keep pushing, then all the positives will outweigh the negatives."