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Crooked Beat Records opens underground shop in Del Ray

Crooked Beat Records officially opened today in the basement of 2417 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood.

Owners Bill and Helen Daly hosted a ribbon cutting at the new record shop on Friday that was attended by dozens of customers. The 1,200-square foot basement is 300 square feet bigger than their old shop that closed at the end of April in Old Town North.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Bill Daly said. “We’re trying to keep the atmosphere the same as it was on N. Fairfax Street.”

A former DJ at North Carolina State University, Daly worked for a record shop chain for years before founding Crooked Beat Records in 1997 in Raleigh. He moved the business to Adams Morgan in D.C. in 2004 and then to 802 N. Fairfax Street in Old Town North in 2016. The shop was forced to close in April due to residential redevelopment,

Daly signed a five-year lease for the 1,200-square-foot basement — in the same building that houses Cheesetique, the Del Ray School Of Music and Piece Out Del Ray.

“It’s great to see a business like yours coming to Del Ray,” City Council Member Kirk McPike said at the ribbon cutting. “You fit the vibe and get the deal here in Del Ray. But more fully, you’re going to bring people here that are going to join the community and support some of our other businesses, and we wish you all the success possible here in Alexandria.”

Gayle Reuter of the Del Ray Business Association said that the record shop is a destination business that brings people to the area.

“We’re really excited to have you here,” Reuter told the owners. “This is a big day for Del Ray.”

Craig Dye, a retired music teacher, drove from Warrenton to attend the store opening.

“We don’t have record shops in Warrenton,” Dye said. “My record collection is ridiculous. My wife is very patient with me. She lets me have the entire basement for my record collection and she takes care of the rest of the house.”

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