A local independent music store that had to move from a building that’s set to be demolished has a new home in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.
Crooked Beat Records co-owner Bill Daly says he was given 18 months to find a new location for his business after the building where it was located on North Fairfax Street in Alexandria’s Old Town North was sold. The pending demolition will make way for a new residential building in that space.
The sale wasn’t a complete surprise. “When we got the [North Fairfax] place, they told us they were going to sell the building, and it could be in five years or 15 years,” Daly says. “But in five years, they sold it.”
Since 1997, Crooked Beat Records has sold vinyl records, CDs, and T-shirts. It carries music with a “strong emphasis” from the “world of alternative and punk music,” while also featuring classic rock, soul, and jazz albums. Daly says vinyl records have been “90-something percent” of the store’s sales since 2008.
“Record stores are basically like restaurants: everybody has their own recipe,” he says. “Every record store around the country is different [due to] everybody having different stuff and specializing in different genres.”
Before moving into the North Fairfax location from the DC area, Daly says he had been looking at buildings in Del Ray, but it didn’t work out. In a twist of fate, a Del Ray restaurant owner contacted Daly about an open space in the neighborhood.
Crooked Beat’s new location is in a basement, down 18 steps on Mount Vernon Avenue. Without an elevator, Daly says moving records down the steps was difficult, but he’s happy with the store’s new home. One advantage: DC customers have easier access because it’s close to the Potomac Yards Metro station.
“We’ll be bringing a lot of people here who’ve never been to this neighborhood,” Daly says. 2417 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
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