Rivington Guitars is one of those East Village shops many of us can only walk past and ogle from a safe distance– entering the store might be far too dangerous, lest our drool ends up downgrading one of the many mint-condition vintage guitars to nothing but street trash.
But for the lucky few who can dream of owning such a prized musical instrument, take note– the guitar shop is expanding into a storefront just down the block at 67 East 4th street. The sister space, reserved solely for fine acoustic guitars, is called Rivington Unplugged.
Owner Howie Statland was happy to show me around the new annex, a cozy little hallway compared to the original shop. I’m sure if he wasn’t such a nice guy and knew that I only pretend to play bass and that someone would have to pry my distortion pedal from my cold, dead hands, he would have immediately banished me to the curb.
“We carry 300 guitars at any given time, and it was getting really crowded in here,” Statland explained of the old space. He handed a shop clerk, Kevin, a rather fine acoustic specimen, a 1950s guitar with dandelion details on the pick guard. “We’re selling this for $10,000,” Kevin explained.
The added benefit to an additional shop is that the acoustic guitars can be strummed as they’re meant to be stroked, outside earshot of those deafening monstrosities down the street. “It can be hard to compete with electric guitars,” Kevin said.
“Some guys can’t always hear themselves play on the acoustics,” Statland confirmed.
The shop officially opens on September 1, and yes, the acoustics in Rivington Unplugged are great.
Rivington Unplugged, 67 East 4th St., bet. Bowery and Second Ave.
Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct Rivington Unplugged’s address.