Elan Antiques Closes, and Blames a Familiar Culprit

IMG_3021Stephen Rex Brown Jeff Greenberg, the owner of Elan Antiques.

Elan Antiques stayed in business for 23 years, but it couldn’t survive the ailing economy.

“2008 was really the death knell,” said Jeff Greenberg, the owner of the store at Bleecker and Lafayette Streets, just a few blocks away from the temporarily shuttered Billy’s Antiques. “I wasn’t able to recover. It kept getting worse — I really haven’t seen it get better.”

Mr. Greenberg, 58, said that he had been on a month-to-month lease for several years, and that a new tenant — it’s not certain who — had made a large offer on his space. “I can’t bear ill will — that is business,” he added, noting that his current rent is under the market rate.

IMG_3026Stephen Rex Brown Signs on Elan Antiques.

He also echoed complaints of other merchants in the area, saying the constant construction on the Bleecker Street station didn’t help business. Likewise, scaffolding on the building beginning in 2007 didn’t encourage foot traffic.

Now, a sign on the window of Elan says it will close on Feb. 29 and that all items must be sold. The prices on the “mid-century modern antiques” (as Mr. Greenberg described them) are negotiable.

The antique dealer got into the business in 1978, and it’s likely he’ll soon focus on flea markets, online auctions and art shows. It’s unlikely he’ll be opening another store soon.

“I don’t think I could find a situation like this in New York City in a decent area at this affordable price,” he said.

But Mr. Greenberg wasn’t bitter. “I put myself into this. I love the place, love the business,” he said. “I tried to hang through a really tough time.”