<p>Easy Street Records is closing its Queen Anne store on Jan. 18. File photo by Daria Kroupoderova</p>

Easy Street Records is closing its Queen Anne store on Jan. 18. File photo by Daria Kroupoderova

The first day of business after the New Year came with a posting on the East Street Blog that Easy Street Records on Queen Anne was closing Jan. 18 after 12 years at 20 Mercer St.

Owner/president Matt Vaughn explained in the Jan. 2 blog, posted at 8:22 a.m., “It’s with a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to our beloved Queen Anne neighborhood.… After fulfilling our 10-year lease, our landlord was looking for another long-term lease. We felt this might be risky, particularly with the current economic landscape of retail and some changes that had affected the neighborhood. Furthermore, the rent that the landlord was looking for was significantly more than what we had been paying. Initially, we were fortunate in negotiating a couple one-year leases. That is what kept us here these last couple of years.”

Chase Bank is the new tenant taking over the space as of Jan. 21.

Easy Street Records will keep its original, flagship store in West Seattle open. It recently signed a 15-year lease for its location at 4559 California Ave. S.W., “where we will carry on the Easy Street tradition of great in-stores, yummy breakfasts, tasty vinyl and, overall, an excellent selection of music,” Vaughn wrote in the blog.

Easy Street Records was named King County’s 2012 Small Business of the Year, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn had proclaimed Dec. 20 as Easy Street Records Day, because the business “embodies the diverse musical styles that Seattle produces and is an essential part of the community in the way they spread and promote Northwest music.”

In a Nov. 7, 2012, story in the News, Vaughn stated, “My first apartment was in Queen Anne, when I was first starting my business. It’s been a special neighborhood to me.… I always loved this particular location.”

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