CLEVELAND, Ohio — Wondering where you can celebrate Record Store Day(s) this year? The event is hosting two days of vinyl-filled fun on June 12 and July 17.
Some local independent record stores will stock RSD drops on both days, while other shops will run their own kinds of customer appreciation specials for local crate-diggers. (Be sure to check online or call ahead to see if stores will offer exclusive releases on Saturday.)
We’ve compiled a guide to Northeast Ohio’s indie vinyl shops, where music fans can find all sorts of sonic treasures every day, not just Record Store Day.
Here are 20 shops to check out:
A Separate Reality Records
11221 Detroit Ave., Cleveland
A Separate Reality Records keeps thousands of records in stock at its Cleveland shop, with owner Augustus Payne regularly sharing unique, rare picks on the shop’s Instagram account. Find obscure and popular picks, mostly from the ’60s-’90s, here.
Bent Crayon Records
1305 W. 80th St., Suite 216, Cleveland
Tucked inside 78th Street Studios, music fans can find experimental and boundary-pushing tunes at Bent Crayon Records. The store is open to shoppers by appointment only, but also offers an online shop to peruse.
Black Market Records
11729 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
In 2020, Black Market Records found its new home in the basement of the Foundry Concert Club, where shop owner Emma Jochum also serves as the director of operations. The shop specializes in death metal, punk, black metal and more, and collaborates with the Foundry for programming events like the Heavy Metal Flea Market.
Blue Arrow Records
16001 Waterloo Road, Cleveland
Be sure to look down when you walk into Blue Arrow Records, to check out the Waterloo shop’s unique floor featuring hundreds of album covers. The shop offers plenty of vinyl and music memorabilia for sale and also is the home for several shop cats. (Debbie and Pete Gulyas also run the Waterloo Alley Cat Project, a nonprofit trap-neuter-return volunteer effort to help the neighborhood strays, behind the store.)
Brittany’s Record Shop
1464 E. 105th St., Cleveland
Brittany Benton, also known as DJ Red-I, opened Brittany’s Record Shop in 2018 in Slavic Village, and in 2021 moved to Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. The shop focuses on hip-hop, reggae and soul records — and it regularly hosts events, including flea markets and bring-your-own vinyl DJ nights.
Calhoun Record Shop
When the coronavirus pandemic led to temporary closures and financial strain, Calhoun Record Shop decided to leave its location at 356 Reed Ave. in Akron, and instead shift to an online business on Discogs, said owner Forrest Webb. Webb is currently seeking new locations now that restrictions have lifted in Ohio and hopes to find a new brick-and-mortar home this year.
The Current Year
5580 Ridge Road, Parma
A newcomer in this guide, The Current Year opened in Parma in 2020, taking over the side of the Rudy’s Strudel building that was formerly an office space. Owners Michael and Marie Stutz stocked unique mixes of records, posters, books and more. The shop owners — who also perform in local psych-rock band Heaven — stock sounds that they each enjoy, including rock, classical, techno, disco, Tiki and exotica music. Plus, since it’s centered in the town’s Polish Village neighborhood, the shop includes a solid polka section, of course.
25 West College St., Oberlin
Oberlin’s Hanson Records has kept its shop temporarily closed due to the pandemic but has emphasized its online stores in the meantime. Owner Aaron Dilloway, known for his work in prominent local experimental bands, stays on top of interesting new and historic album releases in the small second-floor shop.
Hausfrau Record Shop
1388 W. 65th St., Cleveland
Since 2012, Hausfrau record shop has sold new and used records to Cleveland’s music collectors. The cozy shop, located next door to the Capitol movie theatre, is owned by Steve Peffer — who’s also the bassist of local post-punk band Pleasure Leftists.
Hollow Bone Records
2721 W. Market St., Fairlawn
An expansive shop awaits customers at Fairlawn’s Hollow Bone Records. The business opened in 2015 and has since filled its shelves with plenty of records — including plenty of vintage selections.
Just Jettie’s / All $ales Vinyl
17325 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Suite 3104
The private club Just Jettie’s and All $ales Vinyl are located inside the Chandler Park Building, offering dinner party events, DJ nights and record-shopping experiences. The shop focuses on jazz, R&B and hip-hop, along with VHS tapes and DVDs. Interested customers can set up shopping appointments by calling 216-470-8169, or by messaging on Instagram at instagram.com/vnyljnke.
Last Exit Vinyl House
113 S. Water St., Kent
It’s not just vinyl at Last Exit; the business also hosts a cafe and an extensive book selection. The downtown Kent shop has been running as a bookstore since 2004. It opened its coffee shop in 2015, and its vinyl shop in 2018.
Loop in Tremont
2180 W. 11th St., Cleveland
A hearty selection of new and used vinyl is on sale on Loop in Tremont’s two floors. The neighborhood shop also doubles as a coffee shop that roasts its own beans in-store, and triples as an art gallery with rotating local creations displayed on its wall.
My Mind’s Eye
16010 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
Over this past year, Lakewood record shop My Mind’s Eye pivoted to deliver records when the pandemic caused restrictions on retail shopping — but, now, the business is back open for in-person shopping. The owner, Charles, keeps the shelves well-stocked with new and used record selections.
7661 Mentor Ave., Mentor
For decades, Mentor’s Record Den has offered an expansive selection — including regular new releases and specials for Record Store Day. But that’s not all you can find here; also check out the band t-shirts, posters and CDs for sale.
1832 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights
Coventry record shop Record Revolution has been spinning records for more than 50 years, after opening in 1967. The shop has shrunk down over the years, from three storefronts down to just one, but it has held strong and capitalized on the recent vinyl format resurgence.
824 W. Market St., Akron
It’s hip to be square, at Square Records. The shop, named after its neighborhood — Akron’s Highland Square — opened in 2003 and continues to focus on new independent rock music, along with experimental, hip-hop, R&B and soul picks.
Time Traveler Records
118 W. Market St., Akron
Akron’s Time Traveler Records has used private shopping appointments and limited public openings to make it through the pandemic but was hit hard when it was robbed in March. The business has a fundraiser going to help it get through the tough times, hoping to later celebrate its 41st birthday this year.
The Vinyl Groove Records
679 Broadway Ave., Bedford
Turntables, speakers and other record-playing equipment are available along with thousands of records from The Vinyl Groove in Bedford. The shop announced that it is pausing its record repair services until the fall of 2021, due to business expansions.
Coming soon: Erie St. Vinyl
46 Erie St., Massillon
Another newcomer! Erie St. Vinyl will soon offer a new record shopping experience in Stark County. The Massillon record store, owned by local collectors Sam and T.J. Heaton, is set to open in the summer of 2021.
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