Legendary Apple store unloads treasure trove of vintage Macs

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Tekserve
Tekserve's Mac Museum shortly before it was auctioned off in 2016.
Photo: Roland Auctioneers

Apple fans in the Big Apple are misty eyed this week as a beloved repair shop gets ready to close its doors for good.

Tekseve, with a true genius bar of technicians unmatched by any modern Apple Store, has been forced out of its Manhattan location after nearly 30 years because of high rents and retail competition. Its collection of rare old Macs that were on display will be auctioned off next Tuesday.

Step inside with a needed repair, a customer would grab a number that would be displayed on 1980s-era Macs when it was their turn. It even made an appearance on an episode of Sex and the City, when columnist Carrie Bradshaw sought help for a crashed Powerbook.

Tekserve
Tekserve was New York City’s Apple store before the Apple Store.
Photo: Tekserve

The store was started by Dick Demenus and David Lerner in 1987 and became the go-to repair store for early Mac fans because of its fast, affordable service. It grew to be the largest independent Apple reseller and service provider in the U.S.

Tekserve told its staff in June the store would close this week. The store’s Mac museum is already up to $26,750 in online bids. The 35-piece collection includes a Mac signed by co-founder Steve Wozniak, an Apple Lisa, a NeXTcube and many other seminal machines.

The auction, which starts at 11 a.m. Tuesday, will also include other vintage tech items, like old radios, cameras, microphones, typewriters and a 5-cent Coca-Cola machine.

The store had to deal with competition from six nearby Apple Stores in recent years, none of which have the charm on display at Tekserve, Demenus said.

“Everything is forward-looking. It’s all new and it’s all clean,” Demenus said in an interview with National Public Radio. “I want to respect those who came before.”

Source: National Public Radio