Eight Years Post-Bowery, Billy’s Antiques is Brooklyn-Bound

Posted on: January 30th, 2020 at 4:06 am by

June 2009

Since his high-profile departure from the Bowery eight years ago, Billy Leroy has threatened a permanent comeback for his eponymous antiques business. Now, it will return, albeit in the outer boroughs.

Word on the street is that Leroy acquired a “single family home” on Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn, and will open Billy’s Antiques on the ground level. It’ll have 65 feet of frontage and enough space for the usual collection of antiques, props, and oddities. The original equestrian-inspired sign might also return.

1940s tax photo of 196 Greenpoint Ave

Billy’s Antiques is a product of the Bowery. Before Billy and Banksy, it began as Lot 76, founded by original owner Rob Fennick in 1986. A tall, bombastic man named Billy Leroy started hanging out there in the mid-nineties, and eventually scored a job as manager in 1998. Four years later, he took over the business, and renamed it Billy’s Antiques & Props. When it closed back in 2012 – with a funeral procession – Leroy stated his intention to move the operation into the new commercial building that replaced his big-top tent. “The late Tony Goldman told me he wanted to do a Billy’s Antiques Cafe,” Leroy had told us several years ago. “I’m ready!”

Except it didn’t happen. The building instead welcomed the Detox Market in 2018, a high-end cosmetics joint.

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