Brian Lipsin has owned and operated Brian’s Record Option in downtown Kingston for four decades.
Lipsin sells new and used records, CDs and posters and says he started the business forty years ago with $2,000.
His business came to a sudden halt Aug.5, 2018.
His store, along with two restaurants Tommy’s Place and the Pita Grill, was flooded during a massive infrastructure project in the city’s downtown core. Brian’s Record Option’s doors have been closed since.
The store is a popular shopping place for audiophiles and people who sometimes like to visit and shoot the breeze with Lipsin.
Lipsin said he lost 30 per cent of his inventory in the flood. The store owner had 140,000 records alone at the time.
Renovations in the store are in their final phases now. The floor has been replaced, new lighting has been installed, and storage bins and shelves are in the process of being built.
Lipsin said 13 bins for records have been built by the carpenters and more are coming. “They’re bringing in more, in a few days, another twenty I think.”
Insurance has taken care of some of Lipsin’s costs and the community has pitched in as well. Customers organized fundraisers and started a gofundme accounts said Lipsin.
“People were just putting cash and cheques in my pocket as I was roaming around, I mean, it was wonderful.”
Donated money has been used to replace posters he lost in the flood along with adding new lighting and exit signs.
Lipsin said he hopes to have a grand opening at some point in February, but some of that comes down to when the carpenters finish their work in the store.
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What that grand opening will look like Lipsin said he’s hasn’t thought about that yet. “Whether I have glasses of champagne, I don’t know, I’m open to ideas.”
The flood and fallout have been overwhelming, in particular, the support he’s received.
Whatever form the re-opening takes, said Lipsin, it will be a special event to him.
“There’ll be a lot of hugs going on. I said to a lot of people the community has given me so much, what do I do in return? Most people look at me and say we just want you to open.”