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Famed Staten Island guitar shop, Mandolin Brothers, is closing

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WEST BRIGHTON, Staten Island — For nearly 45 years, Mandolin Brothers has been a corner staple music shop on Staten Island.

It's a place where owner Eric Jay could once pick up any of the 800 instruments and just play.

However, Eric and his sister Allison have seen the West Brighton store transform over the past year from packed walls to empty ones.

It's a far cry from what the store was like when their father Stan opened Mandolin back in the 1970s.

"He loved instruments and he loved teaching people about instruments," Allison says.  "He would sit down for 45 minutes with people knowing they wouldn't buy anything. "

Stan passed away last year from cancer and since taking over the store Allison and Jay have found it increasingly difficult to operate.

Part of the reason for the stores extended success was because of things their father only knew — now, the store is up for sale.

" I do hope there is someone out there that has a passion and love for fretted instruments and can help the company carry on," says Allison.

This shop isn't like other music stores-- it's an institution, a place where everyone and anyone came in to shop.

The store provided guitars to Spinal Tap, Cheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, who even wrote about the store in one of her songs.

Mandolin Brothers was also tasked with repairing that famed bass guitar Paul McCartney used on so many stages.

"It was never played in tune," says Eric Jay.  " So, we had our repair shop re-fret it for him."

If the shop is not sold by the end of the year, they will be forced to close.

"It's hard to imagine a day when we walk out and close for good," says Allison.

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