By : Magdalena Petrova
It’s official. After 45 years of operation, Bleecker Bob’s is being given the coldshoulder, literally. Earlier this month, the record store announced on its Facebook page that it will close in May of this year and will be replaced by Froyo. The news comes after months of rumors of the store’s possible closing due to rising rent prices in Greenwich Village.
Ski, who has worked at Bleecker Bob’s since 2005 and owns over 25,000 records of his own, says that he will miss thestore’s flavor, ambiance, and independence. “We are kind of a time warp because we haven’t changed much since we opened.” Bleecker Bob’s is like an archeological site for the past half century. Rock posters, CD covers, and vinyl record cases, some faded after years of sun exposure, serve as wall paper, while the occasional t-shirt gently rocks back and forth from the ceiling. Cardboard and milk boxes brimming with records line the walls in every direction and make the task of finding a vinyl seem daunting. Beneath the several layers of stickers, a sign on the cash register announces, as if in a final exhibition of rebellion, that credit cards are not accepted.
Many see the closing of Bleecker Bob’s as a loss of a bit of New York City’s history. In its heyday, the store employed rock legends such as Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa. It was also featured in popular shows such as Seinfeld and was mentioned in the song “An Open Letter to NYC” by the Beastie Boys. Despite its fame, Bleecker Bob’s is still a business and needs revenue to survive. “When people found out that the store was closing they were calling me saying that the world was ending,” Ski said. “And I was like, ‘when is the last time you shopped here?’”