29 April 2009

More on Manny's Music

AMNY has an article on the fate of Manny's Music today, quoting yours truly. Here it is:

Manny's May Be Saved

By Emily Hulme

For weeks, it looked like Manny’s Music was singing its swan song, but the midtown staple might keep selling guitars for years to come.

The landlord of the Music Row business, the Rockefeller Group, said yesterday it has been in negotiations with Sam Ash Music, the owner of Manny’s, for up to a year to extend the lease for the shop, a staple on 48th Street since 1935.

Manny’s did not respond to calls for comment.

Earlier this month, Manny’s owner Paul Ash retracted a statement he made to the New York Post saying that the Rockefeller Group failed to renew the lease.

“We were surprised and disappointed by Paul Ash’s statements in the NY Post on April 6 saying that the landlord has chosen not to renew the lease for the property occupied by Manny’s Music,” said Sandra Manley, Rockefeller Group spokeswoman. “As the landlord, we would be happy to have Manny’s Music continue as a tenant in the building.”

In his retraction to the Post, Ash said: “We have not made a final decision regarding whether to continue the Manny’s business or to use the location for a Sam Ash store. Any decision regarding the future of the Manny’s business will be solely our own.”

Regardless of Manny’s fate, other owners on Music Row fear the strip, where stars as big as The Beatles and U2 shopped, fear the stores will one day be gone.

“There was nothing but music when I opened,” said Rudy Pensa, who opened Rudy’s Music in 1978. “It was 15 music stores, now we are four.”

The culprit, of course, has been rising rents in around Times Square.

Pensa hasn’t been pressured to move yet, but expects it any day.

“I think it’s getting close to the end of an era, not just for Manny’s but for all of 48th, which is really, really bad, for the heart of the city.” He said. “But what are we going to do? I’ll be here until I can be here.”

The blogger on Lost City, who writes under the name Brooks of Sheffield, first reported on Manny’s troubles, and agreed that Music Row is on life support.

“It’s fairly inevitable, since Manny's and much of the other music-related stores on the street are owned by Sam Ash,” he said. “And Ash management, in their comments, have been pretty fatalistic about Music Row's future. If Ash won't
fight for Music Row's survival, who will?”

But not everyone is predicting the worst.

“Obviously [Manny’s is] an institution so people are curious as to why it’s closing,” said Mike Rock, a manager at the Sam Ash guitar store said before the latest news of Manny’s possible survival. “But as far as I know, we’re not going anywhere.”

I'm sorry, but every time I read something new about Manny's, I get more confused. Now, who actually holds the fate of Manny's in their hands? Sam Ash or Rockefeller Center?


Ken Mac said...

this is better news than not

Susan said...

From 15 to 4 stores says everything. I hope Manny's can hang in there, though it's tough in this economy For what do we see such wonderful places close...a Starbucks or fast-food place?

Thank you for keeping up on this!

Susan DeMark