Iconic Record Shop Saying Goodbye to West Village

Bleeker Bob’s will be closing after over four decades of business

Lauren Lewis

Bleeker Bob’s will be closing its shop due to a sharp surge in rent.  The landlord recently increased the store’s monthly rent by over 3,000 dollars, which the store cannot afford. Image

A West Village staple, Bleeker Bob’s moved into its West 3rd Street thirty-one years ago.  The store has been featured in an array of television and movies, from Seinfeld to the opening credits of Saturday Night Live.  

The owner and namesake of the store, Bob Blotnik, was somewhat infamous in the music world, until a serious stroke in 2001 slowed him down. In the ‘70s and 80’s Bob was known for his music selection.  He often travelled to London, trading American punk music for the latest from English groups.  The store served as a hangout for New York’s musicians, most notably Johnny Ramone. 

According to one of the managers, a tattooed man named Ski, the store has not changed much since its inception.  He says, “You’re kind of in a time warp.  We haven’t really changed much in the past thirty years.”

And he’s exactly right.  The store is cluttered with records, CDs, and old band memorabilia.  The walls hold a collection of first edition vinyls and neon signs.  The floors look to be the original beat-up hardwood.  A light layer of dust covers the entire store. 

Ski has been working in the store since 2005 and has always wanted to run a record store.  “I ain’t here to get rich,” he says.  He simply loves music, especially vinyl records. 

Ski, who boasts a person collection of 2,500 records, says he will definitely miss the shop.  “It’s a big part of my life,” he says.  “When I’m not shopping for me, I’m shopping for here.”

The store does not have a set close date.  It depends upon the landlord finding a new tenant.  However, when the time comes, Bleeker Bob’s will have a large sale and sell many of the remaining merchandise in store and on e-Bay.  The store is located at 118 W 3rd Street.

 

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