SAN FRANCISCO — Amoeba Music, the independent record store, will reopen its location in San Francisco on September 17 after almost five months of shutting it down due to coronavirus restrictions.
Amoeba Musica opened their first store in 1990 in Berkeley, and after being successful, the owners David Prinz and Marc Weinstein decided to open two more locations. One in San Francisco in 1997 and one in Hollywood in 2001. Amoeba is known mostly for selling music records and movies, as well as for hosting live music events with artists such as Brian Wilson and Sir Paul McCartney.
Their stores have been closed for almost five months because of public health orders in California regarding coronavirus, and they have been operating with online orders. However, an announcement released by the store on September 9 said they were reopening their location in San Francisco because they feel that COVID-19 cases in the city have improved.
According to the announcement, Amoeba San Francisco will follow health guidelines including asking customers to wear face coverings, to follow physical distancing rules and to use hand sanitizer before entering the store. There will also be hand sanitizers stations and gloves around the establishment available for clients.
Prinz and Weisten launched a GoFundMe for Amoeba in April in order to raise money for cash resources and rent, to take care of their staff of over 300 people, and to continue their operations. According to their page, they were running out of savings and they were not generating enough income due to the store closures. They applied to federal and local grants and loans but said that these funds would not meet their needs for the short-term future.
“We have weathered many storms-911, recessions, the Internet, downloading and streaming. But we don’t know that we can weather the COVID-19 storm,” the owners said on the GoFundMe page.
The GoFundMe has raised about $293 thousand as of now with more than six thousand donors including Chris Rock.
“Though we’re dark now, Amoeba is still there, waiting for the day when our doors can be opened again to welcome everyone back inside to celebrate the joy of what moves our souls the most: Music,” Prinz and Weinsten said in the GoFundMe description.
For now, Amoeba San Francisco will open in limited hours- from Thursday to Sunday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.- and they will be closed the rest of the week. Customers who don’t want to be in public can call the store for a phone order that will be mailed to them. Right now, Amoeba is not offering curbside pickup.
The owners said that Amoeba Berkeley will remain closed until further notice because of the spike in cases in Alameda County. Amoeba Hollywood is changing the location of its establishment in which they are working right now and will also stay closed for now.