Why would Pitchfork Records cross the road?
'Owner: More space, less rent, one level'
By RAY DUCKLER
Pitchfork Records, which has survived the move from vinyl to cassette tape to compact disc through more than three decades in. business, will undergo a change of its own when it moves across the street from its longtime home
Pitchfork is moving diagonally, from 2 N. Main St. to the corner of South Main and Pleasant streets, where Foodee's, a pizzeria, operated for 20 years before closing last summer. The new Pitchfork will be in the same building, owned by Mark Reingold of Concord, as Endicott Furniture.
Michael Cohen, who's owned Pitchfork since the record store opened downtown 36 years ago, said yesterday that the switch - scheduled to occur between May 21 and June 1 - makes sense from a business standpoint, offering him more space, cheaper rent and just one level to supervise. Cohen also cited differences with his landlord, Evangelos Lillios, as a reason it's time to go.
'We're all very excited, and the public appears to be very excited for us to move over,' said Cohen, 55. 'We'll have great visibility.'
Cohen said the store's sales remained nearly identical from 2007 to 2008, before dropping about 10 percent thus far this year.
'In my industry, that's pretty much average,' Cohen said. 'It's also pretty much average for most industries, but it's still a very viable business or I wouldn't be moving.'
Cohen grew up listening to the Beatles and the Birds, and his first live show, circa 1970, was Ike and Tina Turner at the Providence Civic Center.
He began Pitchfork with three other New England College students in 1973 as part of a business project connected to the school. He soon bought out his partners for $500 and moved the store from a tiny building on NEC's campus to the basement of the building he now rents.
Through the 1970s and '80s, Pitchfork traveled along Main Street, moving to the area near what is now Siam Orchid, then south to where Bagel Works now sits. Then, in 1989, it returned to 2 North Main, where it now features two levels, including the old basement where it all began. Cohen added stereos to his stock in 1982 and has adapted to the resurgence of the once-forgotten long-playing record album.
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