Dig Baton Rouge

For the Record

Atomic Pop Shop to move to North Carolina

We are long past the “vinyl is dead” discussion. And for Baton Rouge, there is a bittersweet feeling in the air as local beloved record store Atomic Pop Shop prepares for its big move out of state.

After seven years in Mid-City, Atomic Pop Shop owner Kerry Beary will be closing her Government St. location at the end of May. She and her husband will then head to Charlotte, North Carolina, to pursue an opportunity that will be more in line with Beary’s original idea for her business as a hub for art, vintage items, and records. Other factors, including lack of parking space, rent increases, and ongoing construction, contributed to her decision.

“If we were staying in Baton Rouge we would have to move anyway,” Beary said.

Atomic Pop Shop started out selling vintage records and art in the Honeymoon Bungalow thrift store. Word got around among record collectors and soon Beary required her own store space, which she began in 2011. The store has continued to draw in new and repeat customers ever since with its wide selection of new and used vinyl.

“I’ve always had a broad spectrum of genres I really love,” Beary said. “It’s hard not to carry only things you like. I’ve been very fortunate to have a great staff. I read a lot on what’s up-and-coming and what we should provide, also listening to customers and what they want.”

At the time of the interview with DIG, Beary expressed optimism there will still be a record store presence in Mid-City. This was confirmed when it was announced local BR residents Charlotte Smith and Kevin Sweeney had purchased the store and its inventory. The store will operate under the name Pop Shop Records and will officially open on June 1st and shall remain at the current location of Atomic Pop Shop.

“I will never be able to thank Kerry for her patience while I tried to work this out,” Smith said. “She has been incredible. Kevin and I can’t wait to continue this wonderful business in what we feel is the best part of Baton Rouge, Mid City.”

Over the years, Atomic Pop Shop has hosted over 550 bands and performers, cleaned almost 6,000 records for flood victims, and had over 150 photo shoots. They have been featured as a location site for film and television, hosted seven Records Store Days, and 13 Art Hops and White Light Nights.

As the Beary’s era for Atomic Pop Shop ends, she said it’s been an incredible experience, and it’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to the customers and friends she has made over the years.

“I’m going to miss them all, like the grumpy old men and the young ladies that come in with their dads,” Beary said. “Baton Rouge needs something like this. We wouldn’t have been here as long if people didn’t want it.”

Photos by Sean Gasser

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