After a Century on the Bowery, Faerman Cash Registers is Cashing out

Posted on: July 23rd, 2019 at 5:00 am by

brief documentary

At one point in the mid-twentieth century, the Bowery boasted several cash register stores; soon, though, the count could be down to one.

In operation for over a century, the iconic Faerman Cash Register Company is about to depart. The business recently put its building at 159 Bowery up for sale, and there is now a huge leasing banner on the facade.

Cushman & Wakefield is the brokerage representing the Faerman family, which is asking $7.9 million for the property. And as the broker-babble notes, the building comes equipped with air rights and can be “delivered vacant and is ideal for a multitude of developers, investors and users looking to acquire an asset in one of the strongest locations in the city.”

(And because it resides on the east side of the Bowery, there are no height restrictions of the sort on the Little Italy side.)

The three-story building has been in the Faerman family for decades, since 1965. But the company itself dates back even further at this location – back to 1910 when the Third Avenue El still darkened the block. That’s when Faerman and his brother started it all, after emigrating from Poland. His son Bernard would later take over upon returning from the European front – a veteran of D-Day – following World War II.

Bernard bought 159 Bowery for $75,000, giving the business a permanent home, where he sold and repaired the machines. His son Brian eventually joined the team as a third-generation owner and continues to run the store. WNYC reported in 2012 that the younger Faerman, now in his fifties, spent his “entire life in the cash register business.”

To walk into Faerman is to enter an antique showroom. Much of the business these days is from bars and restaurants that want that old-timey “ka-ching” of a mechanical cash register, or for movie placements.

In recent years, Brian Faerman had always been adamant about staying put and not selling. Times change.

Check out this brief documentary with the elder Faerman, shot by Leif Skodnick.

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