Plans are in the works to open a second branch of Euclid Records in New Orleans, Louisiana.
"I hope we'll be making an offer [on a building] sometime this month, in the next couple of weeks," says owner Joe Schwab. "I'm waiting to find out what it's going to cost - it's a completely gutted building right now, and we have to do a full rehab on it. If everything worked out as we planned, and no hitches come through, we could possibly be open by June. Maybe this summer sometime."
The 3000-square-foot building Schwab's looking at is in the Bywater Area, three blocks from the Mississippi River, in a neighborhood he describes as "an up-and-coming area - sort of New Orleans' version of Cherokee [Street]. There are a lot of artists and musicians. It's a very artsy community -- there are a lot of galleries and music venues."
The NOLA outpost of Euclid will focus primarily on selling used vinyl. Like the Webster Groves location, Schwab also plans to have regular in-stores and parties.
The city of New Orleans is attractive to Schwab for several reasons. For starters, he says that "it might help as far as credibility, as far as being able to buy stuff. There's a whole lot of records down in that area." Large-scale, well-respected music events such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Ponderosa Stomp and the French Quarter Festival are also pluses. Above all, though, he'll be able to sell a lot of music he just doesn't have room for in the St. Louis outpost.
"I have a lot of stock, I have more stock in my warehouse than I do in the [St. Louis] store," Schwab says. "I don't have room for it. Opening another store in St. Louis would have been fine twenty years ago, but right now that's just not the case.
"What I'm looking for is a town that's a music city and one that really gets behind its local businesses, with a steady music scene. I really see that with New Orleans. I see it as up-and-coming, right now is the time to get in on it, because the growth can only go up since [Hurricane] Katrina. The whole area's being revitalized."
Cynics might question why Schwab wants to open another brick-and-mortar record store, in an age where digital music (and free music) reigns supreme. But he's pragmatic about the endeavor.
"The worst thing that happens to me? The store's not doing all that great, I pull out the stock, take it back to St. Louis, and I have a really great piece of property in a great section of New Orleans," he says.
"There's still a lot of hurdles to climb, but we're committed to doing something - and something in the next year," Schwab adds. "Hopefully, it will go well."