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Davis, California

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Amping up: Armadillo Music to sell beer, install turntables

Local music store approved for alcohol license

Downtown record store Armadillo Music is looking to introduce beer to its wide array of novelties including vinyl, CDs, DVDs and music-related merchandise.

Owner Joshua Chapman applied for a Type 40 License, allowing specifically the sale of beer for consumption on site. On April 10, City of Davis’ Planning Commission unanimously approved the Public Convenience and Necessity Determination for Armadillo Music.

Chapman has plans to build a nine-foot-long bar in the store, complete with six beer taps –– four of which will feature local breweries and two that will be rotated through. Alongside the taps, the owners hope to provide non-alcoholic drinks such as sodas, waters and juices, as well as snack options. The presence of alcohol on site will not prohibit underage customers from entering the store due to this particular type of license.

“One of our goals from the very beginning, back in 1996, was to bring music and the community together, and we definitely embraced the college students as part of our community,” Chapman said. “The good thing about the Type 40 beer license is that it doesn’t exclude anybody. It doesn’t matter how old the person is, they can still come into the store and shop and buy music. We’re trying to include all the demographics across the board.”

Back in 2014, Armadillo Music moved into its current location at 207 F St. for the larger space and ability to build a small stage to host local bands, touring artists or even first-time performers. Davis and East Bay-based band Busy Lighthouse has performed multiple times at the downtown music hub. Jesús Rico, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major and lead vocalist and guitarist of the band, expressed how the Armadillo Music stage serves as a platform for growing artists to find a larger fanbase and how beer would add to the experience of performing.

“Of course I’m speaking for the people I know, but [most people] just drink for the atmosphere,” Rico said. “They’re not drinking to cause a ruckus or be obnoxious. It’s about trusting your community.”

The inspiration to pair live music with locally-brewed beers came from Chapman’s experiences at different record stores across the country. In addition to the bar, four listening stations will be set up for customers to sample music.

“We’ll have listening stations along the windows with turntables,” Chapman said. “People can sit down, grab a record, listen to music on headphones and have a beer. It’s just a way to have people come in and spend more time in here, interact and engage with a medium of music maybe they’re not used to.”

Aside from performing gigs, Josh Zucker, the Busy Lighthouse drummer and a third-year atmospheric sciences major, would find more incentive to visit the store if listening stations are available.

“I’ll just look at the records, but I don’t buy them because I don’t have a record player at home,” Zucker said, noting that the in-store turntables “would be great.”

The store’s application necessitated action from local jurisdiction to host a public hearing meeting due to the nature of the license, the high concentration of existing alcohol licenses and high level of crime in the downtown area.

“This request for Armadillo Music is a little bit novel because it’s for a music store,” said Tom Callinan, the City of Davis planning technician. “It is supportable because they have limited amount of square footage, and it’s going to remain in the store, which primarily sells music.”

Callinan noted that the City’s main concern was any law enforcement-related issues proposed by the police department. Consultation with the police department showed no law enforcement concerns with this particular license request.

“Eventually, if there’s something that’s going to increase crime to cause more offenses, or if there’s already existing problems with crime involving that establishment or area of town, the police are going to be the ones aware of that, and also the ones that are going to have to deal with any ramifications,” Callinan said.

Armadillo Music now awaits more approval from the building and health departments regarding its construction plans and inspections. The project is estimated to be complete before early June in time to support the Davis Music Fest in mid-June.

Written by: Renee Hoh — city@theaggie.org


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