Two UWS Legends Keep the Neighborhood Clean

Bruce and Steven Stark UWS

Bruce and Steven Stark have sponsored yet another graffiti cleanup day on the Upper West Side. The Starks owned the original Beacon Paint & Hardware, which served the community for 120 years.

While the original store is no longer here, Bruce and Steven are still (long-time) Upper West Siders. And they don’t like graffiti!

The Stark brothers have been holding annual graffiti-cleanup days for the last 20 years, and that’s not about to change.

We’ve covered their efforts in the past, and our readers have always had great things to say about them.

“Bruce and Steven are doing their community (and I am sure their father) proud. This is what community is all about.”

“Now that I know that they are associated with Ace Hardware I will shop their exclusively for all my needs related to what Ace sells. Thank you Bruce for all you have done for my family, children’s schools etc. I met you when the kids were 5 and they are now 23! You are an amazing NY story.”

The second comment above was referring to Bruce and Steven’s many charitable acts while running Beacon: helping inner city youths obtain jobs; hosting annual walkathons for the the Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society and Guiding Eyes for the Blind; working with organizations including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, The Computer School, the Dome Project, PS 87, the NYPD and more.

This past Saturday, the Starks led a team of about 30 volunteers on a mission to cover graffiti-covered mailboxes, lamp poles, parking meters and fire hydrants from West 70th to 96th Streets.

Bruce Stark UWS

Bruce … ready to hand out some gloves!

They were able to achieve this with the help of their new employer, Costello’s Ace Hardware, which donated all the paint and supplies. While considerably larger than Beacon was, Costello’s is also family business which sponsors numerous charity events, making it the perfect employment fit for Bruce and Steven.

“I needed to work for a company that was honest and caring,” Bruce told us. “Costello’s fit that bill. I was only there for 3 months when I went to them asking for free goods (garbage bags, grabbers, and gloves) for a clean -up project for One block UWS. They were very happy to help.”

One long-time Upper West Sider recently wrote to Bruce’s managers to express gratitude for his service over the years:

“For half a century, I was a regular customer in the hardware/paint store run by Bruce Stark and his family. The Starks and their staff were always wonderful to me. Many neighbors I know felt the same way.” Continuing his praises, he said that “Bruce Stark has my highest confidence. I can tell you what many articles in community newspapers and blogs have said: he and his family are cherished by many of us on the Upper West Side.”

The weekend efforts were also helped out by community group One Block UWS, which helped to organize and publicize the event.

“From day one, Bruce & Steven Stark of Costello’s ACE Hardware have been two of One Block’s biggest supporters, supplying all of our gloves and getting us a huge discount on our green trash bags.”

support neighbors bruce and steven

Bruce and Steven sell air conditioners, Benjamin Moore paints, and pretty much anything you’d find at a hardware store. Delivery is free and next day! So give your business to those who do right by the UWS!

(And if you want to paint over graffiti, just call Bruce. He has extra paint for anyone who needs it. It’s free for anyone wanting to paint over graffiti).

Bruce Stark: (347) 538-4050 or

Steven Stark: (347) 538-4020 or

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