Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Piece of Tekserve

As first reported here, after 29 years in business, Tekserve is closing for good. Their last day will be August 15 and they'll be holding an auction in the store on August 23.

Jan Albert, wife of Tekserve co-founder Dick Demenus, writes in:

"We'll be auctioning off Dick’s antique technology collection which decorated the walls of the store, along with such iconic items as the 5-cent Coke machine that served 3 generations of customers and school kids, the vintage phone booth where we let customers make free local calls, the wall of radios that greeted customers, a larger-than-life blue robot that accompanied Tekserve to trade shows, the “Mac Museum” Tekserve assembled which displays and describes Apple Macintosh computers from 1984-2004 (with the first Mac signed by Steve Wozniak!), and even the TEKSERVE neon sign from the front of the store.

Entry is free and it should be a fun day and a great final performance--simultaneously an audiophile’s and dumpster diver’s dream, with lotsa bargains."

Dick Demenus writes:

"Tekserve was NYC’s APPLE computer store before there were APPLE computer stores. It started by serving the few but devoted early adopters of the Mac and morphed into a support system for a world in which every other person on the street has an iPhone.

For the past 29 years, this one-of-a-kind emporium on West 23rd Street has provided and repaired the tools that New York’s designers, writers, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, actors, and architects use to explore the creative process. They’ve saved many a student's term paper, supported businesses of all sizes, provided showbiz neighbors, like Sex and the City and Law & Order, with a unique background for their computer-based stories, and supplied 10-cent Cokes to customers and 3 generations of neighborhood kids."

On the end of Tekserve and its upcoming auction, Dick says:

"Rising rents, big box stores, and a little thing called the internet have changed the landscape. The two techies who fell in love with their Apple computers and started a small business, which, much to their surprise and delight grew and grew, are calling it a day. It is bittersweet to close the doors on the store, but we hope you’ll take home a little piece of TEKSERVE to remember it by."


Mitch said...

Went by on Friday. By then there were pretty slim pickins. But maybe I'll pick up an antique radio at the auction.

DrBOP said...

Mistah Jeremiah, posts have been consistently, and sadly, wonderful all summer. Keep up the GREAT work. Here's a follow-up article on the Storefront Survival Project simply fyi:


Unknown said...

I am so very sad. I bought my very first Mac computer, the blue bubble, and my first pad, orange and white, there. I also bought 2 I macs. And I loved these people. I will so miss you. You were my valued introduction into the Apple/Mac family. I will treasure my memories always. You also consoled me, as only you cold, when my Mac Book literally exploded.
Be well always.
I hope I can come by to say a fond farewell before you leave forever.

Anonymous said...

The almost 500 items that will be sold in the Tekserve auction were not all on general view on the store floor so come on back during the viewing days--August 20th and 22nd and have a look. Best yet, come to the auction at Tekserve-119 W 23 Street one last time,
from 11AM-6PM on Tuesday, August 23rd.
Should be a good show and entry is free.
You can begin looking at the items as they put them up on rolandauctions.com later this week


Andrew Porter said...

Alas, I leave the 15th for the World Science Fiction Convention, otherwise would be there, proudly wearing my NYMUG T-shirt, and crying into my hard drive...

Unknown said...

Very sad about this. The Genius Bar at any Apple Store had savvy diagnosticians, but if something needed fixed, they sent it away. The techs at Tekserve could diagnose AND fix it. Where am I going to get memory upgrades now?!

lgrace said...

I'm really sorry Jan. I was an early Mac user and stopped by with my dog Emma, a standard schnauzer, to drop off something. Can't quite remember now what it could have been. Anyway, she was a smart dog and I trusted her opinion. She typically wouldn't visit anyone but walked right over to a man sitting waiting for his computer. It was Robert Thurman. He gave her a pat and both of us a smile. I was in heaven. Heaven was at Tekserve that day and forever in my heart. Thanks to you and Dick, for giving so much support and time (and special memories) for so many years.

editrrix said...

Very sad news. Tek Serve helped literally salvage my life and a creative project back together by saving my data after a crash. I have been a loyal fan ever since and they have never let me down. Just last month I replaced another laptop battery and they were awesome as always. This one really hurts. Fun people. Good ethics. Super fun shop and the sharpest Mac techs in town. You will be missed by many NYers.

Dave B said...

Sad to hear about Tekserve's demise. They served me well with solving my Mac problems, going all the way back to my first machine in the 1990s. I'll miss the old Coke machine too; I usually got a Coke while waiting for my number to come up.

Thanks for the news about the auction; hadn't heard about that. I'd love to get one or two of those old radios!

John K said...

I will mourn Tekserve's disappearance. Let's not forget, though, that their closure isn't isolated. It mirrors so much of what's happening all over the city, and the US. Smaller businesses get priced out or crushed by chains, which often have little personal connection to and can't do the direct work that smaller businesses could and did. I see this with the hardware stores that have been displaced by the mammoth retailers. The chains are beholden to their executives and shareholders, and they have the money and power to negotiate cushy deals from government officials in a way that smaller businesses cannot. As great as Apple Store service can be at times, we need smaller businesses like Tekserve and Mike's Computer Shop, etc. They are crucial for the social, cultural, economic, and political ecology of cities like New York. When they're forced into closure and replaced by mammoth chains, we actually lose more than a business. We lose the distinctiveness that has made New York City the place it was.