After 20 years on the street level of the Chelsea Hotel, Dan's Chelsea Guitars is moving. Luckily, they're only going 52 1/2 feet away.
They are moving into the much smaller sliver of a room that once belonged to the Balabanis tailor shop. The Balabanis moved out last year. The tailor shop has sat empty and gated since then.
As you can see from the (below) photo I took in 2007, it's a tight space. And while I'm happy to hear that Chelsea Guitars is remaining in the Chelsea--something of a miracle--I worry about how owner Dan Courtenay is going to cram all of his gorgeous guitars, taxidermied animals, rubber sharks, paintings, and assorted music memorabilia into the new space, and what losing those big display windows will do to business--not to mention where the sign will go, with its iconic painting of God Himself handing a guitar down from the clouds.
I guess, if this goes like every other recent Chelsea Hotel eviction, after the move, the old guitar shop will sit empty and gated, maybe hosting a temporary art installation now and then, until a bank decides to move in. Or a cupcake bakery.
Or a frozen yogurt joint.
Or a Duane Reade.
Or a high-end burger joint.
Or a Subway.
Or an Artichoke gastropizzeria.
Or an artisanal chocolatier.