Even with the ongoing Main Street construction and a move to a new location, this is shaping up to be the busiest summer Rainbow Records has had, co-owner Todd Brewer said.
The record store, which traces its history back to 1979, relocated last month to Pomeroy Station, the mixed-use complex located next to Newark Shopping Center and anchored by Ski Bum.
The new location boasts more space, free parking and less expensive rent.
“It’s been fantastic,” Brewer said. “We’re seeing regular customers more often because of the free parking.”
The record store is mostly moved in now, and with the extra room, everything flows better and it is “night and day” from the smaller space the store had on Main Street, Brewer said.
With the extra space, Brewer and his wife, Miranda, hope to introduce live music to the store. Proceeds raised from donations at the shows will benefit the Newark Empowerment Center, which assists homeless individuals in the area.
“We’ve been looking at a way to give back,” he said.
The shows will likely begin around August, around the start of the new semester at the University of Delaware. Brewer is hoping for two or three events a month and likely will be working with DisturbancE, a local zine that covers punk music and the arts scene in northern Delaware, to book acts.
Brewer said that for a lot of kids under 21, there aren’t many opportunities to see live music in Newark. Through Rainbow Records, Brewer hopes to offer a safe space for younger crowds – the ones who are starting to patronize the store – to see different bands, while also raising funds for a good cause.
“We don’t want to be a business that just sells stuff,” he said. “We want to be part of the community.”
The store will also be partnering with other local businesses, like a “BYOV” – Bring Your Own Vinyl – night at Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen on Sunday.
With the move, Rainbow is now closer to a new record store and bistro, Long Play Cafe, which is slated to open soon in the Market East Plaza. Brewer said he’s looking forward to working with that store, too.
“Newark is becoming a destination for vinyl records,” Brewer said. “I think that will make us all busier. Everyone curates something different.”