‘He is with us’: Sundance Records reopens in memory of late owner


SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Don’t call it a comeback.

After about nine years, Sundance Records, or Sundance Record Lagoon as it’s now called, is back. But at the grand reopening on Saturday, some might argue it felt like the store never left.

You could sense the pure nostalgia as a band led a New Orleans-style procession from Zelicks Bar to the store’s new location on the San Marcos Square, 241 North LBJ Drive.

  • Sundance Record Lagoon reopens in memory of its late owner. (KXAN Photo/Jala Washington)
  • Sundance Records' original owner, Bobby Barnard

The sounds of trumpets triumphed through the air, harmonizing with the southern melodies from the saxophones, baritones and drums. The reopening of the store comes a day after the one-year death anniversary of Sundance’s former owner, Bobby Barnard.

The original plan was for a one-time, summer popup shop to sell some of Barnard’s old items and memorabilia.

“[There was] so much overwhelming love and people reacting to the fact that someone thought we were reopening,” Thomas Escalante, Bobby’s close friend and owner of the new Sundance, said. “And it really hit a nerve… and reminded us and showed us how much Sundance meant to the community.”

One thing led to another, and close family and friends decided they wanted to bring the store back for good.

“Thank you all for joining us… Bobby would just be thrilled to see all of you here,” Nancy Barnard, Bobby’s wife, said to a group gathered for the grand opening. “We all miss him, but Sundance is going to continue. This is Sundance reincarnated, and we are open!”

  • Sundance Record Lagoon reopens in memory of its late owner. (KXAN Photo/Jala Washington)
  • Sundance Record Lagoon reopens in memory of its late owner. (KXAN Photo/Jala Washington)

There were a lot of smiles as guest after guest danced into the new shop for the first time.

“Look a these records!” Meredith Furstenfeld said to her daughter. “See they’re all in alphabetical order.”

Furstenfeld said she grew up in San Marcos and has fond memories visiting Sundance.

“We want to express the love of music to [the kids], and it’s awesome to have a classic record store in our town again,” Furstenfeld said.

Jennifer Besch said she remembers being drawn to the posters when she was younger.

“Some memories took you back,” Besch said.

The store, dedicated to Bobby, stands in all its musical glory. For those who were closest to him, it’s hard to feel like he’s not still with them.

“Oh, I’ve been seeing signs left and right,” Escalante said.

Nancy, beaming with pride, knows Bobby would be proud.

“Bobby is here, he has been here ever since we started. He is with us, he would absolutely be behind this.”

This start may be just the beginning of inspiring a new generation in Bobby’s name. 

“I love you BB,” Nancy said. “I hope you’re happy.”

On Saturday, staff was only letting a handful of people in at a time, trying to be as safe as possible with rising COVID-19 cases.

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