Eclipse Records now closed

Categories: Local Music
eclipse-250.jpg
City Pages file photo
Eclipse Records, the beloved St. Paul record store and all ages venue, is being forced to vacate its space and is now closed. Rumors of the store's closing started flying this morning, and were confirmed when the Current's Barb Abney tweeted that she had spoken to Eclipse co-owner Jason Brazil.  "Just got the official word," Barb tweeted. "Eclipse Records is closed for good."

Details are scarce as of yet, but an employee at the store told Gimme Noise that the staff is "packing their shit up as we speak" and that they "have to be out by tomorrow." Martin Devaney, a local musician who has had a longtime working relationship with the store, also confirmed that "it is closed at the current location for good," saying "we had almost no notice to vacate the place."

The store has had a somewhat tumultuous history. Owners Brazil and Joe Furth opened the first Eclipse Records on Grand Avenue in 1999, but they were forced to shutter in 2003 due to noise complaints from residents in the neighborhood. In 2006, they reopened in their current location on University Avenue, and in 2008 they put the finishing touches on a small venue space within the store and began hosting a steady lineup of all-ages shows.

No word yet on why Eclipse is forced to vacate its space this time around, but an interview Gimme Noise conducted with Furth earlier this year shed some light on the challenges they faced as an independent record store and all ages venue:

Running an all ages place is tough business. It's hard to come up with enough revenue to support it. It is important because it exposes kids/people to music at an early age and only helps venues that are not all ages. We are a record store first, venue second. I think the two go hand in hand but I'm in the minority. Otherwise you would see more of this model. In the time the store was closed no one attempted to do anything all ages or a record store. Maybe I'm stubborn, I knew I was going to open again, but I thought some one would at least try to do something. In the time Eclipse was closed people still talked about it. It was more than just a store closing like Let It Be, Aardvark, and Root Cellar. Nothing against those stores, they were great, and I did shop at them, but when they closed people just shopped elsewhere. People missed them, sure, but their closing did not impact a demographic as much as when Eclipse closed.

Calls from the store's owners have not been returned as of yet. We'll post more information as soon as we receive it.
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