AFTER more than a quarter of a century trading in Naas, Top Twenty has closed its doors.
The music shop was, in its day, more than that housing the Naas Yamaha Music School as well as being well known as an outlet for concert tickets.
Owner John Forde, a native of Graiguecullen, opened the store originally at Sallins Road in 1987 but the business established itself next door to the now closed Superquinn store.
Although the Vodafone store is to set to move in from another location up the street, he will continue to sell tickets for a variety of concerts and other events.
“I will operate from here as an agent for Ticketmaster and I’m delighted that that will continue,” said John who, launched the business when he was 21.
He also stresses that while three jobs have been lost in Naas, the Newbridge store will be retained as it is.
“The music industry has undergone many change. We went from vinyl records to tapes to CDs and now music can be downloaded, often for free. People will do this rather than buy a CD which offers much better sound quality,” said Mr. Forde.
He reflected: “There have been great memories of people queueing for concert tickets, often overnight and this is one of the biggest Ticketmaster agencies in the country.”
He thanks all his customers as well as the staff, notably Brian Brett and Sarah McCormack.
Like many in his predicament, he despairs at the attitude of town councillors and council officials who he says “don’t live in the real world.”
The retail parks outside the town have damaged the commercial life of Naas as has pay parking and clamping, he believes
“If the councillors can’t do anything about this there’s not much point in having them there,” he says.
Nevertheless he predicts a bright future for the town. “I believe the economy in the town will get strong again and hopefully the worst is over. People and shoppers want to be at the heart of the community and this is in the town centre.”