The Book and Record Bar set to open in London this weekend

In the last decade, record shops and to a lesser extent book shops have been experiencing a very visible decline.

The old high streets, previously littered with high street retail giants like Virgin Megastore or Tower Records and supported by a handful of quirky independents are now a sorry sight for music fans, but it looks like there is at least still hope. While some determined indies have managed to hold the fort (we’re looking at you Rough Trade), it’s massively exciting to us that a new store has been established, and the concept is, well, inspiring.

Built in the shell of an old pub (the Gipsy Queen if anyone knows it) in West Norwood, The Book and Record Bar looks set to give music and book lovers not just somewhere to go and hemorrhage cash, but also somewhere social to actually chit chat with other human beings.

Serving as a coffee shop as well as a retailer, the store is the brainchild of obsessive collector Michael Johnson aka The Record Man. Johnson has amassed a collection of over 8,000 records over the last forty years, and is a contributor to the yearly Rare Records Price Guide, so we’re guessing The Book and Record Bar might not be a place where you can score a five pound mint copy of Popol Vuh’s Affenstunde, but we’re certain that the curation will be impeccable.

Fittingly, local tunesmith West Norwood Cassette Library will be performing at the opening party this Saturday, along with analogue electronic fetishists Metamono so head down, grab a coffee, browse some fine collectibles and listen to some tunes. [via Hyponik]