Pop Recs Ltd
Ever wanted to browse vinyl record collections, admire paintings, drawings, sculptures from local artists and have one of the best cups of coffee in Sunderland all at the same time? Now you can. Pop Recs Ltd is an independent record shop, which also has an art gallery, shop, steaming cups of coffee and pizza!
Opening the third incarnation of the award-winning culture hub, at the bottom end of High Street West, has been a long, difficult road for the team who've faced the challenges of converting a Grade II-listed building, a pandemic and the death of much-loved director Dave Harper.
Pop Recs Ltd, which is owned by local band Frankie & The Heartstrings, is currently located on Stockton Road. In its time at its previous location on Fawcett Street, Pop Recs Ltd played host to some of the most exciting live music gigs in Sunderland, pretty much every week and more often than not for free. Great bands playing gigs at Pop Recs Ltd have included Badly Drawn Boy, Maximo Park, Edwyn Collins and James Bay.
Way back in June 2013, Pop Recs was opened as a pop up record shop by Frankie & the Heartstrings in the old Tourist Information Office in Fawcett Street, but over the years snowballed into so much more; becoming a community and culture hub which brought big names to the city such as James Bay, The Charlatans and Franz Ferdinand, whilst also being a welcoming space for like-minded groups to meet.
The vision was always to have a large-scale permanent home for the multi-purpose Community Interest Company. That vision has now come to life spectacularly at High Street West, thanks to the drive of Pop Recs directors, building owners Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust and funding from National Lottery.
The buildings are also a gateway cornerstone of Sunderland's Historic High Streets Heritage Action Zone, an ongoing revival scheme comprising grant funding from Sunderland City Council and Historic England.
The result of years of hard work is a coffee shop and training kitchen at 173 High Street West and a 250 capacity multi-purpose venue at neighbouring 172, with its own stage, accessible toilets, high-spec light and sound rig and a bar serving locally-brewed Vaux on draught, as well as bottles and cans.