Beloved Brooklyn record store/concert venue Rough Trade NYC will close its doors in Williamsburg this summer. The news was announced in a press release distributed by the venue on Tuesday.
While the record store will reopen in a new NYC location later this year, the concert venue, operated in partnership with The Bowery Presents, will not reopen. The release did not specify whether or not the new location would include a venue space.
The current NYC location—a 10,000 square foot former warehouse building located between Kent and Wythe on North 9th Street in Williamsburg—was converted by Rough Trade using over a dozen shipping containers, creating a giant record store with an intimate venue space. Rough Trade NYC initially opened in late 2013 in response to the growing deficit of record stores in the city.
As a concert venue, Rough Trade NYC has produced hundreds of events annually since opening in 2013. The venue hosted the likes of major artists, including Green Day, Gorillaz, Leon Bridges, The Raconteurs, Tegan and Sara, TV On The Radio, Jim James, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, and Wilco, though the 250-capacity space primarily served as a foundation for artist development in New York City. Halsey, SZA, Khruangbin, Car Seat Headrest, Margo Price, and ODESZA all performed at Rough Trade NYC before growing to larger and larger rooms in the New York market.
As Rough Trade co-owner Stephen Godfroy notes, “Our much-loved Williamsburg store has done us proud in helping establish Rough Trade as a New York-worthy music retail and gig destination, serving the city’s music lovers and the wider music artist community with expertise, creativity and passion. Not only has it helped put us (Rough Trade, originally founded in London back in 1976) on the map here in New York, it’s also proven the relevancy and importance of record shops to a whole new generation of music fan – showing that alongside the merits of streaming, there’s also a time and place for hanging out in an inspiring space that celebrates past, present and emerging music culture, one that offers a kaleidoscopic array of recordings to cherish and own, a place to meet other curious minds that helps establish a life-affirming sense of belonging, community and friendship.”
Godfroy continues by explaining that the ongoing pandemic and the shutdown of live events it has imposed on NYC—and around the world—for the better part of a year. “As with many businesses right now, the impact of the pandemic has made us rethink our approach, giving us the opportunity to reconsider how best to serve the rapidly increasing number of vinyl lovers in New York – that in spite of the adverse conditions surrounding the pandemic, demand for vinyl is positively booming. As with so many other retail sectors, sales are diverting online, along with the power and reach of online communities, all of which gives us inspiration to become more and not less accessible, to creatively reassess the junction between online and offline interaction. Regretfully, in order for us to freely respond to these new opportunities, we shall have to bid a heartfelt and fond farewell to our beloved, inaugural US, Williamsburg premises.”
“Having the confidence to relocate and reimagine would not be possible if it weren’t for the warm embrace New York has given us, a city where a love for music inspiringly brings people together and breaks down cultural divides. On behalf of everyone at Rough Trade and The Bowery Presents, we humbly extend our immense and sincere gratitude to all our music loving patrons. Rest assured, Rough Trade will retain its presence in New York – we look forward to sharing details of our exciting new plans in coming months. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming ‘first time’ and returning customers to our Williamsburg store, along with all of those enjoying the convenience of shopping at [RoughTrade.com].”