Word On The Street: Ear X-Tacy Heading To The Loop

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Current Ear X-Tacy Store on Bardstown Road (via Google)
Current Ear X-Tacy Store on Bardstown Road (via Google)

Ear X-Tacy could soon be on the move. A tipster reports that the iconic record store at 1534 Bardstown Road will announce plans to relocate to the Douglass Loop into a space vacated by Fedex Kinkos at 2226 Bardstown Road between Harvard Drive and Woodbourne Avenue.

[ UPDATE 9:00 PM: It looks like the Courier-Journal, so quick to dismiss rumors circulated on "various blogs" has backed off their claim that our story is "untrue." Take for instance the headline that ran this morning: "Ear X-tacy to Douglass Loop? Not so says record store's owner" and then compare it with the current version: "Ear X-tacy to Douglass Loop? Nothing's official says record store's owner." Then the corresponding first sentence: "John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy records, said that reports of a pending move to the former location of a now-closed Kinko's at 2226 Bardstown Road are untrue." vs. "John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy records, said that reports of a pending move to the location of a FedEx Kinko's at 2226 Bardstown Road in Douglass Loop are premature." The C-J was saying our story was flat out wrong earlier, and now they are backing off that position.

What we do know: 1) ear X-tacy is not denying they will be making a move, but won't confirm any details. 2) A space in the Douglass Loop has been leased but the tenant won't be announced until they reveal themselves.

It's completely understandable that ear X-tacy wants to reveal the details on their own time. It's not such a good idea for the mainstream media to dismiss "various blogs" as rumor-mongers. Rant over. ]

[ UPDATE 1:00 PM: I spoke with ear X-tacy general manager Rebecca Cornwell who says the store is not denying the rumor, but they are also not ready to confirm anything, either. She says more information will be available later but there are details to be worked out. Store owner John Timmons was not available for comment. The C-J reported the rumor to be false and Louisville.com picked up on it, but it sounds like it's not dead, just not official. ]

[ UPDATE 11:00 AM: The 4,500 square foot space at 2226 Bardstown has been leased according to the brokerage company, but they declined to name the tenant until the formal announcement is made. Looks like ear X-tacy is headed for the Douglass Loop. ]

Ear X-Tacy could soon be on the move. A tipster reports that the iconic record store at 1534 Bardstown Road will announce plans to relocate to the Douglass Loop into a space vacated by Fedex Kinkos at 2226 Bardstown Road between Harvard Drive and Woodbourne Avenue.

Earlier this year, ear X-tacy owner John Timmons addressed an uncertain future for the record store amid recession and changing buying habits. In February, he said the store may downsize, relocate, or even close. At the time, he pledged to keep the store on Bardstown Road.

Faced with the threat of closure, the local community mounted an effort to keep ear X-tacy open including several events at the store and a Facebook group called Save Ear X-tacy that now boasts nearly 33,000 members. The store has been open 25 years at various locations.

What’s next for the 10,000 square foot current site? It’s a large and unique space with high visibility, so it probably wouldn’t be vacant for long. Perhaps a retailer like Urban Outfitters, who had looked into opening a store in about 10,000 square feet of Bardstown Road in the past, will find the space attractive.

Ear X-Tacy Could End Up In The Douglass Loop (via Google)
Ear X-Tacy Could End Up In The Douglass Loop (via Google)

And since it’s National Preservation Month, let’s take a look back at the current ear X-tacy building on Bardstown Road.

Here is the 1535 Bardstown Road store in 1932 when it was the Laib Company, a plumbing fixture store. The building looks pretty much the same as today except the main entrance is located on the front of the building and the trim isn’t painted lime green.

Ear X-Tacy Building in 1932 (U of L Photographic Archives)
Ear X-Tacy Building in 1932 (U of L Photographic Archives)

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden is a writer and architectural designer living in Brooklyn. After graduating from the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Branden practiced architecture in Louisville where he worked on several large LEED Certified buildings. Branden is the senior web editor at The Architect’s Newspaper, where he covers architecture, design, and urbanism. He has also written about design for Designers & Books, sustainability for Inhabitat, and architecture for the American Institute of Architects. He founded Broken Sidewalk in 2007, an online collaborative promoting architecture and urbanism in Louisville, Kentucky and the Midwest.
Branden is a writer and architectural designer living in Brooklyn. After graduating from the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Branden practiced architecture in Louisville where he worked on several large LEED Certified buildings. Branden is the senior web editor at The Architect’s Newspaper, where he covers architecture, design, and urbanism. He has also written about design for Designers & Books, sustainability for Inhabitat, and architecture for the American Institute of Architects. He founded Broken Sidewalk in 2007, an online collaborative promoting architecture and urbanism in Louisville, Kentucky and the Midwest.

11 COMMENTS

  1. To get retailers like Urban Outfitters, Anthropology, to Trader Joe’s to move to sites like this, you have to deal with the real estate market planners at their head quarters. They get bombarded by realtors, but it’s rare for the average schmo/future customer to bring a location to their attention. Unfortunately, too many clock in and out on their jobs and rely on realtors wanting to fill their vacant listings, often out Shelbyville or now Norton’s Commons.

  2. So the FedEx Kinko’s is actually closed now? I thought they just remodeled the space and cut the size of their store in half. Granted, it could have actually closed since that happened, but I was in there less than a month ago at the smaller space.

  3. I agree. The funny thing about Urban Outfitters is that they operate exactly like clothing stores in the mall (particularly in the realm of stealing intellectual property and hiding behind the massive cost of fighting a relatively large company to protect said theft), but they pretend to be above it.

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