After 28 years in business, the Greenwich Village record store Rebel Rebel, is going to be closing its’ doors at the end of June. According to business owner David Shebiro, his landlord is renting the space out to another tenant. Rebel Rebel’s closing, which is set for June 30th, is symbolic of the changes Bleeker Street has undergone over the last few years. Mr. Shebiro summed it up perfectly, “The fashionistas have taken over.”
Before 2000, the blocks of Bleeker Street, nestled between Abingdon Square and Seventh Avenue South, was home to quirky independent shops, from the store that only sold condoms to a small grocery. Now, Bleeker street is dominated by high-end clothing stores. Ngawang Choden, the owner of a store that specializes in products from Tibet, feels like is one of the last of the Mohicans among the big labels.
When the New York Times attempted to contact Shebiro’s landlord, SW Management LLC, they did not return any phone calls to comment. It is undeniably disrespectful to tell a tenant that has never had a problem paying rent in 28 years that their space has been rented. Since he is not sure if a different locale would have the same energy, Mr. Shebiro plans on taking a break after his store closes. The majority of the friends he made in his life were through his record store. Here’s to Mr. Shebiro, may the spirit of Rebel Rebel live on, even if it no longer sells LPs.