Band mates open York’s first vinyl café to make music real again

FortyFive's Vinyl collection
30 Aug 2017 @ 5.22 pm
| Food & drink, Shopping

Three men on a music mission have opened York’s first vinyl café.

The FortyFive Café on Micklegate opened on Monday, inspired by Stephen Frears’ romcom High Fidelity and influenced by Bradford’s Indy Coffee Roasters & Brew Bar.

In it Dom White, Steve McNichol and Dan Kentley have crafted a unique space to share their love for quality music, deliciously strong coffee, and dangerously cheesy toasties.

Music community

Dom preparing a sample of FortyFive’s finest coffee

Dom, Steve and Dan got the idea for the business after touring the US in their rock band The Family Ruin.

They noticed how people weren’t buying their CDs, apart from at their shows. So they decided to do something to bring back music as a physical entity, in the face of intangible streams and downloads

Back in York after the tour, the friends began a record business. Beginning with Dom’s dad’s vinyl collection, they built an online store.

Their next aim was to “create a community back within music again” by rejecting digital music services like Spotify in favour of the ability to stand somewhere and look through records with your friends.

And so FortyFive was born.

Welcome to everybody

FortyFive vinyl cafe on 29 Micklegate

Dom describes vinyl records as “physical, and they’re yours – they’re collectable”.

FortyFive Vinyl Café

29 Micklegate, York YO1 6JH

Open Mon-Fri @ 8am-7pm, Sat @ 10am-7pm, Sun @ 10am-5pm

Follow @fortyfiveuk

FortyFive website

But he doesn’t want the singles and LPs to be seen as only for the connoisseur – but for everyone. The folk at FortyFive pride themselves on the diversity of their stock.

“We’re completely genre-less,” says Dom. “We want to welcome everyone.” Prices are certainly accessible – check out the stand full of 50p records…

They take their coffee as seriously as their music. Using a special coffee-making filter system called Chemex the team have created their unique blend of coffee, which comes from three different continents.

This is served alongside a retro selection of biscuits including pink wafers and, of course, party rings.

Open seven days a week, typical dishes include a breakfast of avocado on toast for £2.50, and a selection of lunchtime toasties, including pulled pork, spiced chicken and seasonal mushrooms, at £3.50.

FortyFive’s vinyl collection
FortyFive’s vinyl collection

In-store events

FortyFive cafe interior

Together with help from family and friends, the three of them revamped and renovated the historical 16th century building on Micklegate within just ten days.

They’ve uprooted its old carpets to show off its original features and complemented this with unfinished wooden furniture, handcrafted by Steve’s dad. The stripped-back feel of FortyFive fits its quirky and simple feel.

In future the team are set to host signings, live performances and Q&As at the store, supporting the local music scene that they grew from.

And if you’re thinking of following your own dream? Dom says budding entrepreneurs “don’t have to be scared… if you’ve got a great idea, then go for it!”