‘We’re gutted’: Withington’s hip record store and bar to close on Record Store Day

Wilderness Record Store, the neighborhood bar and record store in Withington, has announced it will close on Record Store Day this weekend. The last trading day is Saturday (April 23), and it invites regulars to come and watch.

In a post on their Instagram page, the owners said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce that Wilderness is closing. Record Store Day next Saturday April 23 is our last day that we are open. Thank you to all the artists and bands who played here and all the DJs who played records.

“A huge thank you also goes to every customer who has supported us since we opened in 2019, who packed themselves like cans of sardines to watch gigs, who kept us going during a global pandemic, who bought toasties when that was the only way we could reopen, and they kept coming back when the rules faded.

“And on top of that we would like to thank all of our incredible employees who have made the store what it is, we know they are a big part of why so many of you keep coming back. We are all gutted to lose what is a sanctuary in the heart of Withington but we made amazing friends and loved sharing our music and fun times with all of you! Come for one last night out with us this Saturday and treat us to a drink or two, we need it x.”

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The store opened in April 2019 – poetically, also on Record Store Day – offering booze, vinyl and toasties, as well as hosting film screenings, workshops, artist Q&As, DJ sets and in-store performances.

Lyndon Higginson

It was set up by a team of all-stars of the restaurant and bar in Manchester, most notably Lyndon Higginson, of Crazy Pedros, The Liars Club and Bunny Jacksons fame, Dan Morris, director of Escape To Freight Island, and Bart Murphy and Mat Lake, who launched Junkyard Golf.

Higginson, a resident of Withington, told the Manchester Evening News: “Unfortunately it just didn’t work out. We’ve gone out of our way to create a cool community hub in a great little area, but when people buy records from Amazon and coffee from Costa, it’s really hard to compete.

“We are very sad to see it go, and we are all upset.”

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