Editor’s note: Sunday Records is expected to open this Sunday, November 12. This story was originally published in the Riverhead News-Review in August.
An East Moriches couple’s love of records is culminating in a plan to bring a new record store to downtown Riverhead.
“A good old fashioned record store like you used to walk into back in the ’70s and early ’80s,” said Brian Volkman of his plans. “Just records. There aren’t any CDs or anything else.”
Mr. Volkman and his wife Deborah are planning to open “Sunday Records” on 125 Roanoke Ave. They own the building, and they’ve been doing most of the work of assembling the record store themselves and with family members.
They’re hoping to have it open by the Country Fair in October.
But it will only be open one day per week — Sunday. At least initially.
Mr. Volkman is an attorney who works in Manhattan, and Deborah is a career counselor who works at their home in East Moriches.
“We’re doing it as a fun thing,” Mr. Volkman said in an interview Saturday. “We realize we can’t quit our day jobs, so we’re just going to have fun with it.”
He says Sunday is the best day to go to a record store, anyhow, and they will see how well being only open on Sunday works out before deciding if they want to be open additional days.
The store will have a combination of new and used albums. The Volkmans have been planning this for years and have bought thousands of records in anticipation.
“This is something completely different for us,” Mr. Volkman said. “We basically grew up loving music. I grew up in Ronkonkoma and and every Saturday, I would ride my bicycle to Record Stop or to the mall. Some kids like baseball and they spend all their time growing up at the baseball field. I spent all my time in the record store growing up.”
“We have a lot of records,” Deborah Volkman said. “It’s going to be a great experience and we’re looking forward to it.”
As the popularity of vinyl records waned in the 1980s, “we never put our records away,” Mr. Volkman said. “Our record player has always been in the center of our living room and we’ve always been playing records.”
And now, vinyl records are making a comeback.
“I love it,” Mr. Volkman said. “ I think that people kind of forgot what it was like when you would go into a store and actually hold a record in your hands and have that connection to the music.”
Growing up, he said, he never heard the term “vinyl.” It was always just “records.”
The couple feels Riverhead will be a good place for a record store.
“With the bands playing at the Suffolk Theater or Joe’s Garage, and Alive on 25, there’s a little bit of a music scene evolving in Riverhead,” Mr. Volkman said.
Coincidentally, while Mr. Volkman used to ride his bike to Record Stop as a kid, the Riverhead storefront he’s planning to open a record store in is close to – and possible the same as – the Riverhead location that Record Stop briefly had in the 1980s.
Riverhead also used to have a Long Island Sound record store, near the Suffolk Theater, back in the 1970s, and it still has Platinum Entertainment on Griffing Avenue, which has been around for close to 20 years, but only sells compact discs, not records.