Changes are afoot at Bullseye Records, the record store that’s been at 1627 E. Irving Pl. since 2006.
"Bullseye Records is going to be me doing pop-up shops and a little bit of online selling,” says owner Luke Lavin.
“The store inventory is being sold to Terry who will be opening a store called Irving Place Records in the former space occupied by Bullseye Records."
"Terry" is longtime employee and local musician Terry Hackbarth, who is partnering in the business with his former bandmate Don Kurth.
Lavin says that not much will change when the Bullseye era ends on March 31.
“It will continue to be business as usual," he says. "Basically for the storefront, just a new owner and a new paint scheme," though he adds, "Terry and Don implement some new aspects that will keep things fresh and invigorate the customer base."
According to Lavin, Hackbarth and Kurth will refresh the store and likely open about a week into April, and definitely in time for the April 20 Record Store Day, when Irving Place Records will celebrate a grand re-opening.
Bullseye Records opened in early June 2006, two and a half months after Lavin’s previous shop, Farwell Music, closed at 2218 N. Farwell Ave. when the landlord received an offer for the space for double the rent Lavin was paying. That space had previously been home to Earwaves Records.
Before opening his own shop, Lavin had been well-known to local record buyers through his work a Wax Stacks and Second Hand Tunes.
Bullseye has long been a haven for lovers of used and new vinyl and CDs, as well as a small but good selection of stereo equipment.
One local writer did a shift there for a story in 2011, and the following year, longtime employee Ken Chrisien left to open his own shop, Acme Records, in Bay View. But that just meant we now have two great stores instead of one.
Lavin says that once Bullseye closes, he will be, "doing some soul-searching, considering new employment, and operating occasional pop-up stores and doing some online selling under the former banner of Bullseye Records."
He vows to also be a presence in the new shop as a customer and perhaps even as a "spot fill-in" employee behind the counter.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.