J&R Closes Its Doors, But Vows to Return in 2015

By Janon Fisher and Ben Fractenberg  on April 9, 2014 8:11pm  | Updated on April 9, 2014 8:13pm

CIVIC CENTER — J&R, the city's instantly recognizable music, computer and electronics mega-store, will shut down on Thursday, promising to return next year after a major renovation, according to the company website.

"On April 10th, J&R will close its doors so that we can rebuild this location into what we hope will be an unprecedented retailing concept and social mecca," owners Joe and Rachel Friedman announced in a statement.

The outlet, which started as a basement record shop in 1971, grew to encompass the whole block across from City Hall Park, selling everything from toaster ovens to desktop computers.

"A lot has changed in 43 years," the Friedmans wrote on their website. "In fact, this entire Lower Manhattan area is changing dramatically, finally ready to blossom after 12 difficult rebuilding years."

A sketch of a six-story, glass-encased building indicates how the company plans to remodel the building. The owners promise to share more details in the coming months.

"We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this transition period," the couple said. "We hope you look forward with us to a revitalized and bustling Park Row and Lower Manhattan."

Employees who were locking up for the night Wednesday could be seen hugging on the showroom floor. They declined to comment as they left.