Easy Street Records' Queen Anne location will be closing Jan. 18 (the West Seattle branch remains open and in fact recently signed a 15-year lease). Owner Matt Vaughan posted the sad news on the store's website this morning. Here's an excerpt from Vaughan's announcement:

After fulfilling our 10-year lease, our landlord was looking for another long-term lease. We felt this might be risky, particularly with the current economic landscape of retail and some changes that had affected the neighborhood. Furthermore, the rent that the landlord was looking for was significantly more than what we had been paying. Initially, we were fortunate in negotiating a couple one-year leases. That is what kept us here these last couple of years.

The new tenant, Chase Bank, will take possession of 20 Mercer St on Jan 21. We thank our committed customers, this beautiful neighborhood, our fellow merchants and neighbors, and all of the music lovers and musicians that supported Easy Street Records at this location. We will miss all of you and cherish the memories forever.

Easy Street's QA store had slipped a bit in its stocking of adventurous releases over the last year-and-a-half when it let go of super-knowledgeable employees Jefferson Petrey and Chris Bendix and tightened its spending budget, but it still had one of the city's best-curated electronic-music sections and music-magazine racks, and its used-vinyl bins always yield great finds. This is a big loss for music fans.