By Katie Ambrosini
The clock rewound nearly 50 years as I stepped in the iconic record store nestled between Bleecker Street and West 3rd. From floor to ceiling, Bleecker Bob’s emits a sense of nostalgia and timelessness that attracts tourists and music lovers alike.
A feeling of eery excitement ran up my legs as I walked on the splintery wooden floor– the same floor that many famous and beloved artists, like Bob Dylan, have walked on. The walls are plastered with vintage signs and dusty, faded album covers. It has that musty smell of my grandmother’s attic and the air is heavy with history. Little has changed since it opened in 1968 explained Ski, one of the shop’s managers. Besides some online sales, Bleecker Bob’s hasn’t updated it’s business methods that much. The old cash register still acts as the store’s primary method for handling sales.
Unfortunately, the demographics and gentrification are changing in the Village, and as a result small business’s like Bleecker Bob’s are struggling to survive. With a rent increase to $15,000-$20,000 per month, Bleecker Bob’s is now on its last leg and expecting to close within the next few months. After four decades in Greenwich Village, Bleecker Bob’s is coming to an end.
Behind the facade of happy nostalgia, there was a subtle sadness floating in the air. Knowing that this rare Village gem was possibly turning into the omnipresent Starbucks made the atmosphere similar to that of a memorial service. “Were doing the community a service,” says Ski. And now people are coming in to show their thanks say their final goodbyes.