Shuttered since mid-March from the coronavirus pandemic, landmark Austin store Waterloo Records reopened Monday, announcing daily hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for those willing to follow a series of in-person shopping rules.
Waterloo had been filling online orders at its website, along with curbside pickup service, but this is the first time the store has been open for shopping in months. Here are the details, as posted on the store’s website:
– "We are only allowing a limited number of customers at a time" (the exact number is not specified)
– "By entering the store, music lovers warrant that they have no symptoms that could be attributed to COVID-19"
– "Staff will take your temperature & admit you"
– "Wear a mask that covers your nose & mouth at ALL times"
– "Sanitize hands on entry & exit" (hand sanitizer provided)
– "Only credit/debit cards & exact cash accepted. Any/all change due is donated to HAAM" (the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians)
– "NO food, drinks or pets (service animals excluded)"
– "NO public restrooms"
– "Non-compliance = a firm request to immediately exit the store"
Waterloo Records owner John Kunz said Monday afternoon that he and his staff are still revising what the "limited number" of customers in the store at one time should be. He added that he’s marked off 17 spots 6 feet apart outside for waiting in line to get in, and that generally no more than three or four customers were in line on Monday.
Waterloo had experimented with an appointment-only system in September, allowing one or two people to book short windows of time in the store. Kunz said the decision to reopen daily for November was largely a matter of necessity, after funds from coronavirus-related business grants and loans dwindled.
"We held out as long as we could," he said, noting that in addition to the customer guidelines noted above, Waterloo also took safety measures that included installing air filters specifically designed to address virus transmission. The store also has installed plexiglass barriers around employee workstations.
Waterloo Records opened in 1982 and moved to its current location at the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard in 1989. It has been voted the city’s best music store at the Austin Music Awards every year since it opened.