After 8 years in the neighborhood, Rough Trade is moving on from Williamsburg.
As announced on Tuesday, January 19, Rough Trade will close its 10,000 square foot story at between Kent and Wythe on North 9th Street this spring. The former warehouse, converted by Rough Trade with over a dozen shipping containers, was a giant record store and performance space space.
Rough Trade opened late 2013, in response to the growing deficit of record stores in the city. The venue hosted hundreds of live performances, everyone from Green Day, Gorillaz, Leon Bridges to the The Raconteurs, Tegan and Sara, and many more acclaimed artists. The space became known as a unique destination for music lovers and major fans, but has not hosted live music since March 2020 (though Instagram live concerts are hosted on their page frequently).
“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,” Stephen Godfroy, Rough Trade’s co-owner said in a press release.
Rough Trade’s decision to relocate is very much tied to the ongoing pandemic. “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,” Godfroy said. “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.”
While Rough Trade has not announced its official closing date or new address, the business, along with its live music partner, The Bowery Presents, confirm Rough Trade will continue to have a presence in New York City. Reopening plans are slated to be announced later this year.
Rough Trade is still open for in-person as well as online shopping. Those who want to share a memory of, or wish for, Rough Trade, are encouraged to contribute to their online project, New York Loves Music.