NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A beloved record and book shop in Brooklyn was forced to close its doors on Sunday.
Neighbors told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez it become a victim of gentrification, so they rallied together in an attempt to save the business.READ MORE: NYPD Lieutenant Shot In Ankle Apprehending Suspect In The Bronx
In a tiny Bedford-Stuyvesant storefront near the intersection of Halsey and Lewis, there was a record and book shop carrying that name.
Martin Brewer and his girlfriend, Sonya Farrell, opened the shop in 2016. It specialized in vintage vinyl, books, and unique gifts.
A handshake agreement got them a great deal on rent and a place in the hearts of the neighborhood.
“I think everybody adds to it. We’re just people. If you need something, I can help you … and vice versa,” Brewer said.
“Martin, and Halsey & Lewis … they’ve been a pillar of the community for a while. Bed-Stuy has very much been centered around the mom and pop experience. This being another unfortunate victim of gentrification,” resident Joel Leon said.
Last week, Halsey & Lewis’ landlord said the store had a week to vacate, and that a pizza and wine shop would be replacing it.
“We’ll be graceful and dignified and we’ll go, and it’s fine. But, it’s really sad,” Farrell said.READ MORE: Justice Department Says Russians Hacked Federal Prosecutors
While Martin and Farrell said they have no hard feelings, their neighbors said they won’t go down without a fight.
A block party with a DJ and donated food from local restaurants attracted a lot of customers on the shop’s last day of business. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $32,000 to help the owners re-open in a new spot.
In the words of Shakespeare, though she be but little she is fierce.
“I think it’s a staple, right? With the gentrification that’s been happening, it’s a loss for the community that’s been living here for generations,” resident Samra Ghermay said.
“It’s bittersweet. It’s so heartwarming to have the whole neighborhood come out and celebrate with us in a spirit of resilience,” Farrell added.
“It has been heartwarming. I’m really like, whoa! I really had no idea, but I’m so pleased with the community outpouring. I don’t know. We had such a good time here, and I’m glad we’re going out standing,” Brewer said.
Brewer and Farrell said they’ve already found a few prospects for their new location, and, thanks to all the love they’ve received, it looks like they’ll stay in the neighborhood and possibly re-open sooner than they ever imagined.MORE NEWS: Police: Woman, 61, Killed In West Islip House Fire
Halsey & Lewis will keep its name, to pay homage to the original location.