Matt Umanov's business is booming. On Monday, the 70-year-old owner of Matt Umanov Guitars never stopped moving behind his shop counter, taking phone orders from far-flung buyers and closing deals on high-end Martin dreadnaught guitars. Across the store, Umanov's staff was running between customers, fitting newly-sold Telecasters into cases and trying to make sense of their growing pile of handwritten invoices. The chaos was self-inflicted: hours earlier, Umanov had announced that after more than 50 years of selling and repairing instruments in Greenwich Village he'll soon be closing his world famous shop on Bleecker Street. He's marked his items at 20 percent off. Everything must go, and it's all going fast.

"This was a conscious decision. I've been doing this a very long time," Umanov told Gothamist on Monday. There's no greedy landlord behind the shop's closing. In fact, Umanov himself owns the building at 237 Bleecker Street. He's simply had enough. "I've got a couple grandchildren and I'm too old, I don't need to work 60 hours a week between Monday and Friday anymore," he said.

Umanov got his start as a luthier and quickly made a name for himself as one of the best guitar repairmen in the city. By the time he turned 18, he was supporting himself by fixing guitars and banjos full-time. Umanov's first brick and mortar store opened on Bedford Street in 1969; he's sold guitars out of his current space since 1982. Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan were among his customers.

"What this has all been about is the music. Yes, there's the guitars and they're wonderful. But we've helped a lot of people over the years to make music—that's what it's all about."

Word of Umanov's plans to close spread quickly through his customer base, and on Monday the store was filled both with deal-savvy buyers and well-wishers. Sales associate Peter Corn estimated that the shop had sold nearly 30 guitars that day alone. Typically, that many sell in a month. There's no set date for when Umanov will ultimately close the place down, but he plans to lock the doors for good after this year's holiday season.

Buying instruments at Umanov's—specifically Fender Stratocasters—has been a tradition for Bonza Delapenha. "I've been coming here every decade since 1994 to buy an anniversary year strat," he said, lamenting that he'll have to break that streak. "In large stores like Sam Ash, it's almost like a Wal-Mart. It's so much better here."

Rare and vintage guitars are one of Umanov's specialties. Some of the pre-war acoustic and early electric guitars in the shop's locked case are more than $10,000 off as a result of the discount.

On Monday evening, one prospective buyer called to haggle over a 1968 D'Aquisto New Yorker archtop, now a steal at $52,000. "You're never going to find another one," Umanov smirked, holding the receiver. "You know what they say? Think long, think wrong. That guitar's going to be gone very soon."

Matt Umanov Guitars is located at 273 Bleecker St, between Jones and Cornelia Streets.