Joe’s Record Paradise, the vaunted Maryland record store that’s been in business since 1974, is moving out of its downtown Silver Spring location next year, according to owner Johnson Lee.
Lee says he found out today that the store’s landlord won’t be renewing its lease come March 2016. He doesn’t know yet where the shop will move — it’s too early to guess — but he has his eye on Plaza del Mercado, the Aspen Hill shopping center where Joe’s operated in the 1980s. Lee says he can’t overlook the plaza’s convenience.
“I live literally one minute from that location,” Lee says.
Lee — son of original owner Joe Lee — estimates that Joe’s Record Paradise has moved six times, usually in search of cheaper storefronts. Its current spot on Georgia Avenue is nested within an increasingly upscale area that’s seen new restaurants open up in the last several years.
Lee says he lucked out with the roomy, 6,000 square foot location in Silver Spring, but when his store’s six-year tenancy comes to an end next year, he anticipates having to move into a tighter space.
“My thought is no matter where we go, we’re going to have to pare down a bit,” Lee says.
What does that mean? Slashed prices. Not bad news for loyal record buyers.
“The less stuff I have to carry over, the better,” Lee says.
The business owner says if he moves the shop to Plaza del Mercado, it could help bring life to the declining Aspen Hill shopping center pocked with vacant storefronts.
“I’m wondering if I can tempt them not with tons of money, but with more fame for the plaza,” Lee says.
The news of Joe’s relocation arrives just one day after D.C. shop Red Onion Records announced it’s moving to U Street NW.