Both new and regular customers of Menards strolled the aisles of the new sprawling two-floor, 225,000-square-foot Columbus West store during the first few hours of its grand opening Tuesday, Feb. 25.

“Man, we’ve needed this for a long time,” said Mike Konkus of London, who described himself as a “regular customer” of Menards.

Menards opened Columbus West, its fourth central Ohio store, at 6:30 a.m. at 831 Hilliard-Rome Road. The store is south of Hilliard and near Galloway.

About 30 customers were lined up by 6 a.m. waiting for the opening, said Ryan Neumeier, general manager of the new store.

Konkus, who was shopping at the store about two hours later, said he had made the trip, though inconvenient, to the other Menards locations.

“But I’ll be coming here from now on,” said Konkus, who purchased LEDs and drill bits on his visit.

Konkus, who built a boat deck at his residence, said Menards delivered the treated trusses he needed on time and at a competitive price, winning his customer loyalty.

Because Menards has its own manufacturing arm for the production of treated trusses, concrete block, doors and other materials, Menards can pass that savings onto its customers, Neumeier said.

Hilliard resident Thad Tamoro said he had gone to the grand opening to see what kind of “weird things” he could find.

Tamoro said he had visited one of the other Menards stores “once or twice” and has purchased online from Menards, but he would be a regular customer at the new location near his residence.

“It’s so convenient for me," he said.

Nancy Sergeant of Galloway said she had gone to Menards to see if she could find the specific kind of pretzels she uses for baking.

Pretzels are one of the many things Menards sells that not every customer realizes, Neumeier said.

“We’re one-stop shopping, kind of all the big-boxes rolled into one,” he said.

Menards sells the lumber, lights, cabinets, doors and home-improvement merchandise that many customers are familiar with but also has a grocery section, a pet-supplies department, sporting goods and even greeting cards.

Menards is a family-owned company that began in 1958 with a cash-and-carry lumber yard in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“We kept adding things to get to what you see 60 years later,” Neumeier said.

Menards has 327 stores throughout 14 Midwest states.

Menards’ three other stores in the Columbus market are at 1805 Morse Road in north Columbus, 6800 E. Broad St. in east Columbus and 7241 Graphics Way in Lewis Center in Delaware County.

The hours at the Columbus West store are 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo