Cole Hardware softly opened its sixth store, at 627 Vallejo St. in North Beach, on Valentine’s Day.

The new store occupies the long-vacant former Piazza Market space, which freed up this fall after Mama’s on Washington Square pulled out of a plan to expand its restaurant there.

Owner Rick Karp said the Valentine’s Day opening caught many neighbors by surprise, but nonetheless, it was a “nice day of sales,” with many customers excited by the arrival of a hardware store in the neighborhood.

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