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Landlord of Bleecker Bob's Record Store Hunting For New Tenants

By Dan Rivoli | July 23, 2012 7:47am
Bleecker Bob's Golden Oldies remains open as the building's landlord looks for a new tenant.
Bleecker Bob's Golden Oldies remains open as the building's landlord looks for a new tenant.
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — As managers at the iconic Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies record shop search for a new place to spin their vinyl, the store’s landlord is fielding offers from prospective new tenants.

The Bleecker Bob’s deathwatch has been in effect since January, with reports of the store’s closure and potential relocation from Bleecker Street to the East Village.

While Bleecker Bob’s is still open for business, the search for a new spot continues as closure looms, according to manager Chris Wiedener. Still, a future for the record shop is far from certain.

“The store’s for rent and we don’t have anywhere to go,” said Wiedener.

Bleecker Bob’s has been a Village mainstay for decades, first opening its doors in the late 1960s. The store specializes in the rare and obscure recordings, selling a bevy of vinyl records, CDs, DVDs and rock memorabilia.

Exactly when the store will shutter its 118 W. 3rd St. location is unknown. But Bleecker Bob’s landlord, Al Rosenthal, said it's just a matter of time before he finds the right tenant.

“We’re letting them stay there until we get somebody, so it works for both of us,” he said. “There’s no timeline, but they should be finished very shortly though.”

Rosenthal said there is heated competition for the 2,000-square-foot space near the corner of West 3rd Street and MacDougal Street. Potential tenants have included operators of restaurants, bars, cafes and a coffee chain.

Rosenthal said his priority is finding a good fit for the neighborhood and the buildings’ residents.

“I’m looking for an amazing tenant," Rosenthal said. "I’m not looking to put any garbage there."

In case anyone was lamenting another Starbucks in the area, Rosenthal threw cold water on that prospect.

“As far as I know, it’s not going to be another Starbucks at this point. We’re shopping around," he said.

Limor Eliyahu of Point NYC, Rosenthal’s broker, said he is “very long-term oriented — really waiting for the right concept and the right tenants.”

Both refused to name any interested parties, but Eliyahu said there is competition for the spot. She said one unsuccessful applicant offered to pay an extra $1,000 a month in rent.

“We have a lot of interest... knowing the area, there’s not a lot available" for retail space, Eliyahu said.

Gene Edmonds of Howard Beach said he has been picking through Bleecker Bob’s bins for a decade, whether to snag an outdated country western record or a Chuck Mangione album.

“I’m flabbergasted over it,” Edmonds said outside the record store.

“Bob always treated me good.... I bought so much stuff from him.”