Comics and record store to open in May

Jeremy Cole, co-owner of Blank Coffee, Comics and Records, enters the shop in Seven Points. Cole and other co-owners, UNA alumni Corey Mauter and Patrick McDonald, plan to fill the spot Pegasus Records leaves with its closing April 16.

The owners of Blank Coffee, Comics and Records plan to fill the spot Pegasus Records leaves with its closing.

Jeremy Cole and UNA alumni Corey Mauter and Patrick McDonald are the co-owners of Blank Coffee, Comics and Records.

“For the past five years or so, we’ve been talking about opening up some type of business,” McDonald said. “This opportunity just sort of popped up. The location is perfect for what we wanted to do, and we decided it was now or never.”

Mauter said the store will appeal to many interests.

“The main focus will be comics, but that will not be the only thing we have,” he said. “We plan to also sell coffee, smoothies and records.”

It sounds as if the store will have a good atmosphere, said junior Maggie Killen.

“I major in Interior Design, and I would love to see how they will lay out the room with the coffee, comics and music,” she said. “If their coffee is good, I will go frequently.”

McDonald said they have yet to choose a specific date to open due to their added ideas.

“I would expect to see a grand opening around the second or third week of May,” he said. “Right now, we’re in the middle of moving shelving over from Pegasus, and we’re adding windows.”

Mauter said the store is in Seven Points, which makes it close for students.

“We’re in a really good location,” he said. “We’re two doors down from the tanning salon, and they have a lot of traffic coming through. We hope to attract them with the coffee and then see where it goes from there.”

Mauter said some of their inventory will come from Pegasus Records.

“We originally thought about getting the entire Pegasus building with the records and everything,” he said. “Jeremy actually came up with the idea of just doing the comics. We’re going to try and get some of our records from Pegasus, but most will come from an independent vendor.”

Most of the records will be from local musicians, Mauter said.

McDonald said while they will focus on local acts, they will also have records from other musicians.

“We will have new, popular music in stock,” he said. “Just expect to see what you see at Pegasus.”

Mauter said they plan to expand the business to other locations.

“We’re looking to create a couple more stores,” Mauter said. “Not all  (of them will) necessarily in Florence, but around in the area. We might open a store in Madison and branch off from there.”

McDonald said they have a mobile unit they are working on.

“We want to potentially have a traveling coffee shop and have a pop-up record and comic book store,” he said.

Mauter said they also plan to sell art from local artists.

McDonald said this store is one where people can come and relax.

“To us, it’s more than just a comic book shop or a record store,” he said. “With the coffee shop being incorporated, it’s going to be comfortable. There’s plenty of space for people to come and have drinks and hang out. We’re bringing a new twist to your normal comic book or record store.”