One of the last Times Square record stores evicted after nearly 40 years
Rising rents have already shut down most of West 48th Street’s famous record stores, frequented by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones.
But now, left with limited capacity, Roberto’s Winds – one of the last record stores in the area that has stood the test of time for nearly 40 years – has been pushed out.
Known as a place to sell woodwinds, repair and rehearse, the store was located at 149 W. 46th St. — until an eviction notice moved them to 39th Street, according to the Real Deal.
But music store owner Robert Romeo isn’t leaving without a fight — he filed a lawsuit this week against landlord Montague-Lee Limited Partnership, alleging they violated their own lease terms by terminating early without giving them months’ notice. .
Roberto’s Winds originally signed a commercial lease back in 2013, which was extended through October 2022, with an option for five years. But when the pandemic hit, the store suffered, like most retail stores, and was unable to pay rent from April 2020 until December of that year.
Roberto’s tried to pay off the debt after receiving $300,000 from New York’s Indoor Operators Grant Program, but the owner refused to accept the money, even after benefiting from his own federal PPP loan, legal documents obtained by TRD show.
The record store is now seeking $2 million in damages.
“This is a classic example of a landlord using its relatively strong negotiating position to force a tenant out,” a company lawyer told the publication.
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texasstandard.news contributed to this report.