NEW YORK CITY — As Netflix and video on demand drove the final nails into the coffin of the video rental business several years ago, Wendy Chamberlain, owner of Williamsburg’s Videology, was faced with a choice: close the store for good, or find a new source of income.
She chose to stay open, overhauling the 308 Bedford Ave. shop in 2011 to add a bar and screening room. She trained some of her staff as bartenders and moved most of her inventory of 16,000 titles to the basement.
“We couldn’t just give up,” Chamberlain said. “We hated the idea of not being able to be here and rent movies to people anymore.”
While small video rental shops across the city have closed and even once-dominant video giant Blockbuster was forced into bankruptcy, a handful of owners are renovating and innovating to keep their businesses afloat.
Some have focused on extras …