For the First Time in 17 Years, Ludlow Street is Now Without its Guitar Shop

Posted on: July 19th, 2016 at 5:18 am by
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The so-called “guitar store for the ages” is no longer for the Lower East Side. And one less local place to pick up a replacement for that popped E string.

Ludlow Guitars, a mainstay on its namesake street for seventeen years, called it quits after business yesterday. The farewell was expected, though, as the official announcement happened on June 30.

As previously reported, owner Kaan Howell closed Ludlow Guitars and is relocating to a secret location in the Bedford Stuyvesant/Bushwick environs. Reasons for this new scenery are manifold, but mainly due to a changing Lower East Side landscape.

“There are always a variety of factors that prompt a relocation: rent, neighborhood change, lifestyle,” Howell told us earlier this month.

Ludlow Guitars first opened at 164 Ludlow Street in 1999, arguably the maturation of the local scene. Real estate pressures (i.e. high rents) forced a move to its current location six years ago, after the departure of the boutique Marmalade.

The departure of Ludlow Guitars is proof positive that the once-vibrant music scene around Hell Square barely carries a pulse these days. Pianos is now basically an NYU club with lines snaking around the block; the Living Room relocated to Brooklyn two years ago where it eventually faded into black; Cake Shop has been trying to raise money and/or sell its assets for the last several years. That leaves Arlene’s Grocery and the Mercury Lounge still holding true.

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