In an interview explaining his decision to shutter the Sonic Boom location in Melrose Market, SB’s Jason Hughes tells Seattle Weekly that people on Capitol Hill don’t have money to spend on music because they’re spending all their money on beer:
So you’re just going to focus on the Ballard location? I’m definitely not moving. Capitol Hill is not a viable neighborhood for a record store anymore.
Why do you say that? I’m not going to say exactly why, because it would just irritate a bunch of people, but basically I don’t think anybody up on Capitol Hill has the discretionary money to spend on music. I think they spend it all on food and booze and entertainment. The Ballard demographic is a little bit older, they still buy CDs. CD sales in Ballard are more than twice what they are in Capitol Hill. And the store’s smaller. And vinyl sales up here are pretty good, but it’s not good enough to cover the enormous amount of rent we pay up here.
And sandwiches, too.
In a press release, Sonic Boom announced it will shutter its Melrose store this fall just over one year since re-opening in the Market after a move from 15th Ave E. 2010 ended with Hughes’ wife Tes De Luna abruptly closing down her Velouria boutique neighboring the new Sonic Boom location. When we learned that Taylor Shellfish was planning to replace the boutique with a store and chowder bar, we joked that Sonic Boom had better watch out for bakeries sniffing around its Melrose Market suite. No sign of a new bakery. Yet.
In the meantime, there are still places to buy music on Capitol Hill — in addition to via the Internet. Everyday Music has settled into its new space next to Elliott Bay Book Co while Wall of Sound operates on E Pine and has made space for new roomie Spine and Crown books. In the specialty category, Zion’s Gate and Platinum Records continue on E Pike and The second-hand business, of course, also continues. Latest player to join that scene is Spin Cycle on Broadway.