Thursday, September 10, 2015

First Flight Music closing at the end of the month


[Undated photo via the Voice]

First Flight Music, billed as the most complete music store in downtown Manhattan, is closing shop at the end of the month.

Owner Daniel Wollock confirmed the closure in an email to us yesterday.

"After 20 years we have to vacate this store by the end of September," he said. "We thought we had secured a new, albeit smaller location nearby, but it has not worked out."

The 1,500 square-feet of space one level up at 174 First Ave. includes soundproofed practice rooms for shoppers to test out the instruments as well an area for music lessons.

Wollock did not disclose the reason for the closure.

The building here between East 10th Street and East 11th Street was previously owned by the DeRobertis family, who sold it and closed their bakery-cafe last December after 110 years in business.

According to public records, an LLC that shares an address with Jonis Realty paid just under $10 million for the building. (It originally hit the market asking $12 million.)

As previously reported, Black Seed bagels is close to opening in the former DeRobertis space.

First Flight is the second music shop to close along the stretch of the East Village of late. A-1 Music shuttered at 186 First Ave. in early 2014.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] 174-176 First Ave. is in contract

21 comments:

Giovanni said...

First the DeRobertis family milked their bakery for every dime they could get out of it, with sub-par baked goods and the smelliest bathroom this side of the Port Authority. Then they sold the building and their bakery is immediately rented to Black Seed bagels, which uses a wood burning oven that is now causing smoke problems in their Elizabeth St. location. Black Seed is so secretive they even hired someone to stop people from taking pictures of the renovations to the store. Now this longtime music tenant is being forced out. So much for local real estate owners doing what's best for the neighnorhood. Profits first, people last. We saw how local ownership works out when the Hyrnenko empire exploded into dust after the 7th St. gas explosion.

Anonymous said...

Disappointed but not surprised. When De Robertis closed i expected these guys to go too, but since they didn't leave right away it seemed like, at least for a while, they were going to stay...which I thought was unusual. Now I know.

John M said...

That's strange. I walked by there almost two weeks ago and could have sworn I saw the shop already empty. I used to go there some years ago, so I noted it mentally.

Either I'm clairvoyant or living in the Twilight Zone, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Is it too early to speculate on what kind of business will replace them? Regardless who ever does take over this space there is no way that business will survive for more than 3 years.

olympiasepiriot said...

Oh shit.

And, the space will probably be turned into an apartment.

DrGecko said...

I loved this store. Goddamit.

Anonymous said...

First Flight once hooked me up with a spare machine head for my Gibson. Sorry to see a mom & pop music shop go, even if I am part of the problem with my online-purchasing ways. Traditional music (stringed instruments and such) went the way of the dodo around these parts a while ago. Surprised they held out for this long.

Scott said...

Damnit! Great store and great people.

Anonymous said...

I hope they have a sale before closing. Maybe I'll finally buy that bass I've been thinking about getting.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Black Seed used a wood-burning oven until what I read what a previous poster wrote about the issues neighbors of its Elizabeth Street location are having because of the smell:

http://ny.eater.com/2015/6/18/8803637/is-black-seeds-wood-fire-oven-making-the-neighborhood-smell-like-a

There is a bagel shop in Montreal, where these guys are originally from, that also uses a wood-burning oven. It's on Fairmount, and when you get within a block of the place, the smell is overwhelming. It smells like a building is on fire, then you get close and realize it is the bagel place. I don't know how the neighbors live with it. I wouldn't be able to sleep if I lived next-door to the place and had to smell that all the time.

Anonymous said...

First Flight has been a great business for the neighborhood for a long time. They have certainly been a big part of my working musician existence and always did me right. (Same can be said of A-1 before they closed).

I wish it was possible for Dan and his staff to find a new home in the EV, even if it was smaller, but I know that is asking a lot.

maggie dubris said...

This is sad news--they are an amazing resource for musicians, and I'll miss them so much! Really nice people running an excellent business.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, if that smoke from Black Seed's wood oven affects Veniero's pastries or cafe in any way there will be hell to pay.

Anonymous said...

It seems there are fewer and fewer place in the East Village to shop.

Anonymous said...

John M- I swear I had that same experience last week, trippy .

Anonymous said...

Very sad news. I'm a musician in the neighborhood who was always happy this place was so close by and well-stocked, and that the staff are always friendly and helpful.

It seems that all the music stores are disappearing, along with all the musicians. Everyone's gone to Bushwick or Harlem or Inwood or Philly or Detroit or Berlin or Schenevus or Killawog or Neversink.

- Last of the Musicans

Anonymous said...

There's always Zounds.

(That's supposed to be a joke.)

Marty E. said...

This is entirely too bad. I always made it a point to shop here instead of the Guitar Centers of the world whenever I could.

I don't think that there are any alternatives left.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly which one you're talking about!!!! Yum.

Anonymous said...

Gonna miss 'em. I bought a great v-90 from them-which I treasure and they were my go to spot for repairs, strings, etc. gonna miss em! The times have changed. There is still Rivington and Ludliow. Both good shops.

Anonymous said...

I worked there from '96 until 2000. This store was a fantastic place to work. The coolest gear, and a super fair boss in Dan. I hadn't been there in years, and parked in front to go out to dinner. I was hoping that it would still be open. I'll miss First Flight Music. I hope Dan opens a new store. I'd really rather shop there than one of the clueless/big box places.