Manny's Music May Be Saved
By Emily Hulme
For weeks, it looked like Mannys 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 Mannys, for up to a year to extend the lease for the shop, a staple on 48th Street since 1935.
Mannys did not respond to calls for comment.
Manny's Music on 48th Street (Photo by Ryan Thatcher)Earlier this month, Mannys 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 Ashs statements in the NY Post on April 6 saying that the landlord has chosen not to renew the lease for the property occupied by Mannys Music, said Sandra Manley, Rockefeller Group spokeswoman. As the landlord, we would be happy to have Mannys 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 Mannys business or to use the location for a Sam Ash store. Any decision regarding the future of the Mannys business will be solely our own.
Regardless of Mannys 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 Rudys 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 hasnt been pressured to move yet, but expects it any day.
I think its getting close to the end of an era, not just for Mannys 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? Ill be here until I can be here.
The blogger on Lost City, who writes under the name Brooks of Sheffield, first reported on Mannys troubles, and agreed that Music Row is on life support.
Its 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 [Mannys is] an institution so people are curious as to why its closing, said Mike Rock, a manager at the Sam Ash guitar store said before the latest news of Mannys possible survival. But as far as I know, were not going anywhere.