Video store survives by adding bar - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Video store survives by adding bar

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Trendy music, exposed brick, local beer on tap: You've seen this movie before, right? Just another trendy bar in a trendy neighborhood.

But in the basement of Williamsburg's Videology, beyond the walk-in beer cooler, the plot thickens. There, we find 30,000 DVDs each assigned a number.

"I finally feel like maybe we know what we're doing," owner Wendy Chamberlain said.

A decade ago, Chamberlain and her husband opened a video rental store. For a while, they killed it. Then, the Internet nearly killed them.

"We started to see that maybe we weren't going to last forever," Chamberlain said.

To survive, Chamberlain moved the DVDs downstairs, the garage morphed into a screening room, the showroom a bar and the clerks its bartenders.

"Now that we've come up with idea," Chamberlain said, "it's kind of obvious."

New customers can now drink into the morning's early hours. Old ones can continue living in a simpler time.

"I'm someone old-fashioned," Videology customer Julia Morris said. "I like to look and see and find my videos and actually hold them in my hands."

Chamberlain may portray the heroine to those like Morris, but the rental side of the business barely breaks even.

"That's sort of all I can ask of it," she said.

Call it adaption. Call it evolution. But in Brooklyn's hippest neighborhood, we find the final scene of a dying industry extended indefinitely by liquor, wine and beer.

"Maybe you can just do DVDs," Chamberlain said, "but it's going to be pretty challenging."

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