Old Kid on a New Block: Finlay + Gage

After 30 years ensconced on five floors of 36 Walker, longtime Tribecans David and Judy Gage have moved their string instrument business, Finlay + Gage, to Chambers Street, next door to Trilogy Photo. (Just for the record, there are no hard feelings with the landlord, but the owners on Walker had other plans for the building. And the new location certainly adds some good visuals to Chambers.)

Gage is a master luthier and bass player known widely as an innovator of strings technology. Among other inventions, he also sells The Realist, a tiny amplifier that attaches to the bridge of an instrument (its name comes from the fact that the amplification does not color the sound of the instrument in any way — just makes it louder).

The Gages have lived in Tribeca since 1977 — they raised their two children here — and started the business a year later, eventually taking over all five floors on Walker in what was called David Gage String Instruments. Fast forward to 2017, when they opened another store with a new partner — Sam Finlay — in Maplewood, NJ. Hence the new name for Chambers. But the business still offers the same services — sales, rentals, repairs, consignment — for anything fretted or bowed.

“You name it, we service it,” said Matthew Robinson, the general manager and a cellist who fiddles around with the bass. “We serve anyone from the New York Philharmonic to the opera to neighborhood families. We embrace the high end classical and the rock musicians.”

And they make it a point to skip the pretention. “Just because you don’t have a Strad, doesn’t mean you aren’t serious about your instrument,” says Matthew. “I remember as a kid being mortified to take my cello to be repaired. We want it to be comfortable to walk in here, like our own a ramshackle living room.”

Finlay + Gage
113 Chambers St. | West Broadway and Church
212-274-1322


 

14 Comments

  1. Glad the Gages have landed on their feet. I visited their Walker St shop several times, most recently in 2019 for a sparkling performance by pianist (and Pharaoh Sanders alum) David Burrell. Pam, those pic’s are beautiful!

  2. I love this and the photos are great.

  3. Glad to hear this business is surviving!

    What are the “new plans” for the building on Walker Street?

  4. Am so glad that they have a new home on Chambers Street! We will be visitors with our son’s cello.

  5. David and Judy are part of what makes our community so special!

  6. The last star on Walker has dimmed. They will be missed.

  7. So happy that you stayed in TriBeCa.
    Good luck with the new location!

  8. Anyone have good historic photos of Walker Street? Curious what it was like in different eras.

  9. We wish David and Judy all the best in their new location. Agree with Madeline that they are one of the reasons that Tribeca is a great place to live and work. Good luck in your new endeavor, Best, Dan and LiWah Reade Street.

  10. Thank you Tribeca Citizen for the lovely piece on Finlay and Gage and David Gage String Instruments. We look forward to greeting our neighbors at our new space and to the return of Live, in person Music everywhere! One minor correction: we raised a daughter, Mollie, and a son, Isaiah in Tribeca. They have both always been a part of our business — in fact literally slept among the instruments when we started it all in our loft .

Comment: