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Vinyl Perk leaves Rosemary location

Carrboro’s Vinyl Perk will be moving to a new location after its lease ended on June 30. Owner Jay Reeves plans to keep the small business  in the area (Courtesy of Jay Reeves).

Carrboro’s Vinyl Perk will be moving to a new location after its lease ended on June 30. Owner Jay Reeves plans to keep the small business in the area (Courtesy of Jay Reeves).

Located at 709 West Rosemary Street since it opened in 2013, Vinyl Perk’s lease expired on June 30.

“I signed a lease, and it expires, and the landlord has other plans for the space,” Reeves said. “I have no bad feelings. It was a surprise, I would have loved to stay there forever, but they gave me more notice than I was legally entitled to.”

The brick building where Vinyl Perk was located was hand-built by the founder of Midway Barber Shop in 1952 and is now owned by barber shop owner Step Edwards. Reeves said he was given several months’ notice that his lease would not be renewed, but he still has yet to find the right spot for Vinyl Perk to reopen.

“I don’t know what the next step is — I want it to be the right step,” he said. “I would like to stay in the area — it’s a great area. When you’ve got a locally-owned small business, where the owners are right there, that’s special. It’s home grown.”

He said it’s tough to find a small, affordable spot in Carrboro or Chapel Hill, like he did in 2013 with the Rosemary store.

“Really, we were kind of lucky to find it,” he said. “We had a great time there. We built up a nice little community, we really did. I would like to keep it going, and that’s why we’re still looking. But I also want to wait and catch my breath and find the right spot, maybe one that’s a little larger and can offer more stuff.”

UNC senior Linnea Lieth worked at Vinyl Perk in the summers of 2014 and 2015.

“Jay cares a lot about the store,” she said. “It is his pride and joy, and he often was still in the store way past when he was supposed to leave.”

Lieth said a big part of the atmosphere at Vinyl Perk was Reeves’ relationships with the people who came in to shop and sip coffee.

“We had so many regulars, because Jay genuinely became a good friend to each of those people,” she said.

“He would find a record in the pile of fresh vinyl to put out and start telling me about it excitedly, or one of our regulars would come in, and he would spend half an hour catching up. It was obvious that he loved being in the store.”

Samuel Silverstein, a UNC junior, also worked at Vinyl Perk.

“The shop was devoted to a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere and served devoted, regular customers as a result,” he said.

Reeves said he’s heard the new business opening up in the place of Vinyl Perk is a vape shop, but he’s not sure. Step Edwards declined to confirm the type of business that would take the place of Vinyl Perk.

“It’s been a fantastic experience. We were successful, I’m proud of that,” Reeves said. “This isn’t about me personally — it was the people that came there, it wasn’t us. The people who liked records and Carrboro and liked that vibe.”

For now, Reeves said, Vinyl Perk will continue its online presence, including continuing to sell and ship records.

“Life is change, that’s one certainty,” he said. “The record keeps spinning.”

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