At long last, Joe’s Record Paradise, the longtime D.C.-area record store that was forced to move locations in mid-February, is once again open for business.
It’s been a long saga for Joe’s owner Johnson Lee, who was told last summer that he would have to move his record store, which has been operating around the D.C. area since 1974. Lee found a new home for Joe’s in January, with plans to start moving his stock over in mid-February for a March 1 reopening. But unforeseen circumstance delayed the opening and, in the process, has left Lee hurting financially. In April, Lee turned to crowdfunding to help keep the store afloat financially while it figured out when it would reopen.
Today, Joe’s opened its doors for the first time in months, at its new location at 8700 Georgia Ave.—five blocks from its previous location. Lee says the delays were mostly due to build out of the new space and waiting for city inspections to be passed. As for the space, he says it’s “about the same size” as the previous location, but with storage rooms instead of a huge open showroom, like the previous location.
Still, being out of business for months has left Lee in a huge financial hole, even with the $11,000 raised through crowdfunding. “GoFundMe definitely helped out, but I’m still several dozens of thousands of dollars in the hole,” he says.