PARK SLOPE — For Tony Mignone, it’s the end of a beautiful dream.
“I wanted to open up a record store as a kid,” the 77-year-old said. “I’ve been collecting records since I was a teenager.”
After more than 42 years in business, Fifth Avenue Record and Tape Center will finally close when its lease is up in August.
Before opening the store on Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street in 1972, Mignone owned another record store near his home just a couple of blocks away.
He worked for the U.S. Postal Service when he opened his first shop — selling coins and stamps to collectors — in 1965. He quit the post office a few years later and began selling records. By the late '60s that was all he sold.
The customers have gotten a bit older and the names of the musicians on the covers have changed but it’s essentially the same store it was when he opened, Mignone said.
“What changed was the rent,” he said. “I used to pay $250. Now it’s up to over $3,000.”
Five years ago, Mignone came close to shutting the store down. He was served an eviction notice, but ended up working out a five-year lease with the building owners, he said.
This time around, he is ready to call it quits and does not plan on renewing the lease.
“I don’t know what I’ll do [with my free time],” he said. “I’ll have to figure that out.”
Although he won’t miss finding ways to pay the rent, he’ll definitely miss the customers, he said.
“I could write a book,” he said of the memories he has of the store. “It was like a home away from home.”
Mignone hopes to sell most of his inventory by August and has already begun to offer discounts.
"A guy came in here yesterday and bought 1,000 records," he said. "Another guy bought 2,000 the other day."