It’s been some dark days lately for longtime Maryland record store and music outlet Joe’s Record Paradise, but the light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching. In March, Joe’s planned to move to a new location in Silver Spring, but unforeseen circumstances halted the move, leaving the revered store homeless ever since. But Joe’s owner Johnson Lee tells Washington City Paper that he now hopes to open “in two or three weeks.”
Joe’s, which has been operating at various locations in Maryland since 1974, has been struggling to comply with permitting and regulatory requirements. Lee told City Paper he was scheduled to meet last week with a sprinkler professional and building management to determine what remaining work needs to done. “We are working on the architectural drawings to be resubmitted for approval,” he says.
But Joe’s isn’t the only local record store that’s closed lately. In May, Adams Morgan record store Crooked Beat closed up shop after owner Bill Daly disclosed problems with the store’s landlord and the location’s poor conditions, which caused him “serious respiratory problems.” Daly said he plans to reopen Crooked Beat in a new location, but a new spot has yet to be announced.
Lee, who has gone into debt because of the process, established a GoFundMe page for his store in April to seek assistance with paying his employees and other financial obligations. At the time of writing, that effort has reached $10,995 of its $30,000 goal. And to keep business moving, Lee has been selling records periodically in the back room of another Silver Spring record store, The Record Exchange. He plans to have two or three tables of vinyl for sale, which he’ll be posting photos of on Joe’s Instagram page, at The Record Exchange on Saturday.
The Record Exchange is located at 8642 Colesville Road, Silver Spring.