Iconic Easy Street Records to close Queen Anne location

SEATTLE -- Owners of Easy Street Records, an iconic record store located in lower Queen Anne, announced Wednesday that the store would close Jan. 18.

In a statement posted on Easy Street's website, owner Matt Vaughn said a disagreement in the terms of renewing a lease led to the store's closure. The new tenant, Chase Bank, will take possession of the store at 20 Mercer St. on Jan. 21.

Easy Street's West Seattle location at 4559 California Ave. SW will continue to operate.

Here is the full text of the letter on East Street's website:

Dear Friends:

It’s with a heavy heart that we have to say goodbye to our beloved Queen Anne neighborhood. Thanks to you, 2012 was one of our better years. We posted some good sales numbers and hosted some amazing events. We have been at this location for 12 years. We did not want to close.

In the past year, we received various honors and accolades. We were named King County’s Small Business of the Year and Mayor McGinn proclaimed Dec 20 Easy Street Records Day, in which he stated that “Easy Street Records embodies the diverse musical styles that Seattle produces and is an essential part of the community." We found good reason to be optimistic about 2013.

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.

The new tenant, Chase Bank, will take possession of 20 Mercer St on Jan 21. We thank our committed customers, this beautiful neighborhood, our fellow merchants and neighbors, and all of the music lovers and musicians that supported Easy Street Records at this location. We will miss all of you and cherish the memories forever.

We recently signed a new 15-year lease at our original store in West Seattle, where we will carry on the Easy Street tradition of great in-stores, yummy breakfasts, tasty vinyl, and overall, an excellent selection of music. We hope to see you there soon.

Forever grateful, Matt Vaughan and the 20 Mercer Crew