It's always encouraging when a new independent record store opens and yet I must admit to feeling a twinge of jealously. I've often thought I'd like to have my own Record Store/Cafe/Live Venue, but a complete lack of any finances, no retail experience, no catering knowledge and a terrifying lack of any business sense whatsoever, means it's probably best for me to stick to the day job and sit back and appreciate the efforts of other braver more adventurous souls! So I'm very pleased to give a mention to Beatnik, a brand new Record Store and Cafe in Altrincham.
Beatnik is a new, independent record shop selling Vinyl, CDs, music merchandise, art and books combined with a Café offering locally sourced pies, cakes and proper Coffee. The shop opened on 20th April to coincide with Record Store Day and was an instant hit with the local community and music fans from far and wide. The opening also caught the attention of Jo Whiley on Radio 2, Mark Radcliffe and Lauren Laverne on BBC 6 Music and local and national press, including The Guardian who featured the shop on their Record Store Day report. It was standing room only in the shop, as customers enjoyed live music from local troubadour Patrick Green and cult legend MJ Hibbert, and Mike Joyce from The Smiths arrived to wish the tired and emotional staff well just before closing time!
The shop specialises in stocking a carefully curated range of both new and second hand music on Vinyl, CD and even a few cassettes! Beatnik will also be showcasing work by local artists and performers. They have featured events such as an intimate afternoon show with local songwriter Lizzie Green and a talk by music journalist Paul Du Noyer (NME, Mojo, Q and The Word). Music Shops may be vanishing from the high street, and indeed Altrincham has lacked a Record Shop for many years, but at the same time Vinyl is resurgent, physical formats are still sought after by fans, and the future lies with independent shops like Beatnik with a real passion and a desire to promote music culture.
Beatnik aims to combine all the best things about Record Shops, add a whole lot more and provide an exciting destination where visitors can discover new music releases, unearth unknown gems and experience something that can't be found on-line. There is a listening post, and for those who want to get back to Vinyl, a range of vintage record players on sale. Customers can also enjoy a delicious range of food and drink which is as carefully chosen as the music, mostly sourced from local suppliers. This includes highly rated pies by the Great Northern Pie Company of Bramhall, Lush Brownies of Manchester and Cakes by Mrs B's of Winsford. Customers are also welcome to use free, WiFi.
Details of forthcoming events and all other shop news will be updated regularly on the Beatnik website, Twitter and Facebook page. To find out more about Beatnik, enquire about participating in events, selling your music, merch, artworks, fanzines, books and anything else you want, please email Carl, Grant and Tim or give them a call on 0161 941 411.
Anyway, I'd like to personally wish Beatnik all the very best, it's great that there are people still passionate enough about music to start a brand new business like this. I'd encourage you to pop in if you are in the area and give them as much support as possible. If you know of any independent record store near you then please contact us at Retro Man Blog and we'd be happy to give them a mention too.