After 30 years at the same Montauk Highway location, Georgica Creek Antiques is closing its doors in Wainscott.
Sue Sinenberg, who runs the antique shop with her mother Jean Sinenberg, said they weren't planning on closing up shop, but, "Someone made me an offer I couldn't refuse." She clarified on Tuesday evening that they rented the space.
She said she wasn't at liberty to divulge what business would replace hers when she vacates at the end of January, she said the new business would be beneficial to Wainscott. "We wouldn’t let it be Dunkin' Donuts," she said with a laugh.
The mother-daughter team are looking forward to this new chapter. "We'll still be in business," Jean Sinenberg said from the shop.
"We’re shutting down our brick and mortar, but we're still online," her daughter added.
Neither of the women are leaving the area. Sue Sinenberg, who has been here full-time for 20 years, lives in Bridgehampton and her mother, who moved here full-time in 1980, lives in Sagaponack. They originally spent summers in Springs.
Jean Sinenberg has been in the antique trade since 1975, after joining E. DeForest Cole, one of the first to produce antique shows on the South Fork. She ran antique shows, frequented by eager buyers and celebrity clientel, such as Christie Brinkley and Donna Karan, at the Bridgehampton Community House for decades, and she founded East Hampton Historical Society's antique shows at Mulford Farm in East Hampton, running those for 23 years.
Her own business moved around a bit in Bridgehampton. Mulford Farm In the late 1970s, under the name, "Quilt Gallery," hers was the first business in the building where the Bridgehampton Florist is located, after the space was converted from a gas station, her daughter remembered.
Nearly 30 years ago, the elder Sinenberg moved to the current space at 332 Montauk Highway, just west of Wainscott Stone Road, her daughter said. She rented the old Exxon garage — about 3,000-square-feet — until the early 1990s, when she made the investment and purchased it.
"I could not have afforded to rent this space as an antique shop," Sue Sinenberg said.
There's also a garden area that they've used for shows or outdoor sales. The pergola came down in Superstorm Sandy, but the new owners don't mind as they plan on using the area for more parking, she said.
At Georgica Antiques, they've sold a bit of everything from decorative home furnishings, to European and English antiques, horse prints, quilts and garden pieces. "We always loved country but country died years ago so we evolved," she said.
In the four decades they've spent between them in the antique business on the South Fork, the duo has seen the business change, of course. "It is amazing when you see the progression," Sue Sinenberg said.
Lately, she said, the antique business has not been good. "It’s not just out here. It’s all over," she said, adding that it's a combination of factors from the downed economy to a change in style. Decorator magazines show off rooms that "look hosed down and have no clutter," she said. "I don't think young people want antiques."
People are scaling back, she said. "I get calls all the time: 'Want to come and buy my stuff?'." However, "For the past year, I haven’t known what to buy."
Sue Sinenberg said while they weren't actively looking to make a change, she was ready for one. Gone are the days, when, "We used to have lines from the community house all the way down to the road to get into our shows."
They are trying to move as much as they can so that they don't have to put merchandise in storage after they close at the end of January. "I feel like we’re having a 'thank you' sale," she said, adding that no reasonable offers will be refused.
Correction: The Sinenbergs did not sell the property as was previously reported. They rented the building out to another business.