It’s the end of the road for Sanford & Sven’s Second Hand. After seven years of feeding the experiments of artists, indie music video directors, restaurant owners and other antique-rummaging creatives at 106 North Third Street, the shop is closing soon. Not that the owner, Sven Wechsler, is surprised. He’s seen the writing on the wall for a while now– the crop of new condos encroaching on his block doesn’t look too friendly to a reasonably-priced antique store.
“I know a lot of people are going to have a ‘there-goes-Williamsburg’ bitterness, but I’m not really in that bag,” he said. “I knew it was coming. I came in at the last minute that you possibly could– this was a Kosher dessert factory when I came in, the back side was literally still producing desserts for the Jewish community.”
Luckily, he’s an entrepreneur who placed multiple bets. His moving company, Sven Moving, will live on, probably up in the industrial area of Greenpoint.
From now until closing day (which depends on how long it take the vintage vultures to pick over his wares) everything is 50 percent off. Wechsler said the stock is starting to thin, but there’s still plenty of knickknacks, like glasswares, old candles and fans (and a carousel horse), to go around. There’s also a pretty sweet dentist chair, perfect for a tattoo parlor, now going for $300, and a one-cent character reading scale from 1937 that still works. Wechsler says the scale is very passive aggressive though, issuing assessments like: “you love to flatter people but seldom mean it.” You can snag that gem for $200.
And don’t forget the animal diorama with a weird tropical bird, a weasel and other creepy crawlies (that some of us have long been eyeing). That used to cost a hefty $100, but now he’ll part with it for $30.
There will be a big goodbye music bash sometime in April, before his lease is up. The lineup is bound to be pretty good– Wechsler is also leaving behind his recording studio, Purple Piano Studios, which may be the last fully-stocked recording studio in Williamsburg. Over the years he’s had Chairlift, Clear Plastic Masks and Mike Doughty come through– and just recently, a good ol’ ’90s throw back, Nada Surf.