Rent Gets the Better of Bleecker Bob’s

By: Komal Patel

If anyone was eyeing that signed Beatle’s album cover hanging on the wall behind the register at Bleecker Bob’s, best get it now—the iconic West Village music store may not be around for much longer. Image

Bleecker Bob’s, located on West 3rd and Macdougal Street, sells a medley of music-related items from cassettes and CDs to t-shirts and rare collectible albums. The store, which opened in 1968 and has occupied the same space for over 31 years, has been forced to close shop in light of increasing rents and Bob Plotnick’s, the owner, recent sickness, according to Ski, an assistant manager. While the rent is currently $12,000 per month, the landlord is now asking for over $15,000 per month.

“It’s sad but I guess it happens,” said Ski. “It’s like adapt or die. This store is too big. We’re probably the biggest and oldest record store in New York City. We don’t need all this space. If Bob hadn’t gotten sick and we’d signed a new lease then we wouldn’t be here.”

Not all of the merchandise at Bleecker Bob’s proves lucrative, but used material and vintage pieces have been successful in keeping the store afloat lately.

“You can only sell a CD for so much,” said Ski. “Vinyl’s coming back. Vinyl’s outselling CDs I think they’re saying nowadays. That’s what’s keeping us selling.”

Frequent shoppers at the store have not taken the news well, said Ski, adding that people have called the store as upset as if the world was going to end.

“Some people want to help,” said Ski. “We’re just not sure what they can do.”

While Ski wishes something could be done, he is ultimately resigned to its fate.

“We can’t really save the store here,” said Ski.

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