Former restaurant to be transformed into vinyl lounge

Jan Mulder, owner of Aux Records. Picture: Greta Levy

Jan Mulder, owner of Aux Records. Picture: Greta Levy - Credit: Archant

A record store is to relocate and expand its business with the opening of a vinyl lounge in a popular former restaurant.

Aux Records will move from its Waterloo Road base, in Kirkley, around the corner to London Road South as it prepares to welcome customers to the new vinyl lounge.

The new site has been empty for almost a year after the closure of Desmond’s restaurant.

Owner Jan Mulder said: “We are relocating to the former Desmond’s restaurant around the corner on London Road South and expanding our current business.

“It is still going to be based around our vinyl store, but with a cafe and lounge where people can come and listen to music and have a coffee. People can still come and browse and buy records with a wide range on offer.”

The store opened last autumn after Mr Mulder left his job at a care agency to pursue his passion for music.

He said: “I’m really excited about the move. The current business has been building sine I opened last October and we are ready to take it to the next level.

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“Lowestoft is short of a hub for music and we need somewhere for people to come and chill and listen to music.

“There are bars and clubs but nothing like what we are going to offer.”

The move comes after the store, like all independent retail businesses, was forced to adapt to weeks of enforced closures following the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this month, this newspaper launched its Love Local campaign in a bid to back independent businesses bouncing back from the crisis.

Mr Mulder, who has been a vinyl collector since he was a young boy, said: “The last few weeks have been tough and obviously, making the decision to move after being closed for three months is a big step.

“Unfortunately, a lot of businesses aren’t reopening and we want to be something for people to look forward to, rather than closing down.”

While a date for the move is still to be confirmed, the store will continue operating from Waterloo Road, before rebranding to coincide with the launch of the lounge.

The former Desmond’s restaurant, frequently in Tripadvisor’s top 10 in the town, closed as planned in July, exactly 10 years to the day of its opening.