Lin-Manuel Miranda is not throwing away his shop.
Miranda and three of his collaborators from “Hamilton” have purchased the Drama Book Shop in Times Square in an attempt to keep the store open, according to the New York Times.
The store has been a staple of the New York theater scene for years but struggled to survive in Times Square and had recently announced that it would have to move from its current location at 250 West 40th Street. That was the cue for Miranda, “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail, lead producer Jeffrey Seller and Nederlander Organization president James L. Nederlander to make its former owner, Rozanne Seelen, an offer for the cost of the remaining inventory and remaining rent payments.
“They’re like family to us,” Miranda told the Times, “and when we heard that the rent increase was finally too precipitous to withstand, we began hatching a plan.”
The “Hamilton” team is now working with the city to find a new Midtown location for the business, which won a Tony Award in 2011. The store will close on Jan. 20 and reopen in the fall in a new, yet-to-be-determined locale.
Miranda previously helped the store after a pipe burst in 2016 by urging his fans to go shop there. He told the Times he wrote much of “In the Heights” at the store and used to read plays on its floor in high school.
This is not the first time Miranda has stepped in to help a local business in New York. Last year, he helped the Washington Heights restaurant and bar, Coogan’s, stay open after a proposed rent hike would have forced it to shut down. [NYT] – Eddie Small