Monday, November 25, 2013

Ray's Beauty Vanishes

VANISHED

Just a month ago I did a post on Ray Beauty Supply, calling it "one of the last old-school businesses left on 8th Avenue off Times Square." Now a commenter writes in, "went to ray's over the weekend and it's closed for good. no one knows if they are going to reopen somewhere else. It closed like 3 weeks ago."



None of their phone numbers are picking up. I went by to find the gates down and a pink sign in the window saying: "Soon to be going under renovations." But there's also a marshal's notice dated 10/22 posted on the door, stating that the landlord has taken possession of the premises.

I asked the owner of the Army/Navy store next door if he knew the story. He just said, "They're gone."

Ray's had been in business for over 50 years. Their claim to fame was being "New York's Oldest Beauty Supply."


Previously:
Ray Beauty Supply




17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Argh!

I've found this is a common thing in NYC...I thought it was just me.

One day, you happen upon an old place...somewhere with history, some store
or eatery or something that catches your eye and interest and you
derive a sense of comfort knowing it's there...it's still there.

Then literally, you walk by the place a week or two or three later and it's gone.

More than once have I actually walked to a specific place in NYC, only to happen upon a
boarded up space...!

Goggla said...

Oh, no, this is terrible! I regret not making it up there for a visit.

For an old-school hair/beauty supply place on the LES, I recommend Rayna Malin on Clinton Street. It's stocked floor to ceiling with every possible hair care item and the lady in there behind the counter knows all there is to know.

HippieChick said...

Oh noes! That was the only place left in Manhattan where I could still buy the old-school hard-hood hairdryers that my old-school three-feet-long roller-set hippie hair needs. So sad. Still, I guess there's always eBay...but I hate to see places like this die.

Richie said...

OMG NO!!

kon def said...

It's sad to see a spot like this close but honestly how many people who are saying their condolences were any kind of regular customer of this place?

Anonymous said...

kon def - I don't think it would have mattered if each and every one of us shopped there. The amount of greed that has devoured NYC can not be supported by normal consumer purchasing. The only things that survive are tourists traps that cater to people visiting with deep pockets and large chain stores that have $$ to support the rents being charged.

It's sad to face reality everyone but NYC, as we knew and loved, is gone. There is nothing that will survive.

Anonymous said...

I have not been there, but I read a lot of comments about the place. Apparently quite a number of customers seemed to complain about being served rudely to not being served at all. Not sure if this is the right approach to sustaining a business in a high profile area. But again, I never went there myself...

willymodel said...

I have heard that the owner died.

Anonymous said...

Ray's Beauty was where you could find things you couldn't find anywhere else. The last things I bought there included a sideburn salve that brought back the natural hair color from greying temples. Increasing UPS & FEDEX anti-environmental delivery is NOT the direction our earth needs - esp. in a city where we should be able to pick up our own supplies.

Dancer said...

I have bought products here regularly for over 30 years, starting when I began working in Broadway shows. Closing Ray's is a huge loss. It had everything, and with a staff I always found polite and responsive. I'm hoping they will reopen somewhere. Thanks Goggla for the recommendation of Rayna Malin, though it's a bit away from midtown!

Anonymous said...

I've shopped in Ray's since the late 80s. And no, I'm not in there every week, but at least within a 90-window. This is a landlord problem. To quote that man: :Rent is too damn high!" After awhile, for a business like this, it becomes prohibitive. As far as the negative reviews, I never experienced rudeness there. I think you have to read those reviews and filter out the personalities who are writing them. Some customers want to go on and on about their transaction. In this day and age, you can find out a lot of info before you go to purchase. I was never under the impression that Ray's also offered beauty consultations. At my last visit, I sensed they were going under, but they insisted they were renovating, even had a sign. Wish I had stocked up on the product I can't find anywhere else. Oh well. I'll miss Ray's and everything else that's biting the dust that I love. I still yearn for a meal at Cafe Brigitte in Chelsea. Gone are the days. Thanks for the blog.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed to find Ray's closed as well. Sigh. I shopped there for the 18 years I lived in Hells Kitchen and semi annually since I moved away. A real loss.

Carmela Preston said...

I went there last week and find out... now I have no idea where to go fix my blow dryer....any suggestions?
Lina

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you on your article about Ray Beauty. It was a great store that served the city many years. rays is closed because the owner Bobby Ray passed away. I'm his wife & tried to keep it open but just didn't know enough about the business for it to survive. Thanks to all our loyal customers & to all of you who loved Bobby Ray.

laura r. said...

where are the other beauty supply stores? that was #1. or is everything mail order? what will be there instead of rays? yogart........???

laura r. said...

hint: when & if you find the product you want, buy in multibles. the place & product will be gone. go to a small slaon, ask where they buy their supplies. oh i forgot, they will be out of business too. better hurry!!!

Unknown said...

I heard from my hairdresser that the owner committed suicide due to debt. So stop whining about another great New York icon closing. Get used to it. I shopped at Ray's for 25 plus years, and everything about it was New York, to the max. Now if you want a taste of what New York has become, take a hike over to Times Square, stand in front of the stupid Hershey's store, and take a good look at all the women with their tits hanging out, exploiting themselves for five-dollar photographs. That, my friend, is the "new" New York. I could throw up.