With record sleeves decorating the brick walls, band posters hanging from the ceiling and music-related memorabilia adorning the shelves, Revolver Records on Roosevelt has the atmosphere one would expect from an independent record shop.
But co-owners TJ Jordan and Steve Zimmerman are planning to make it more of a unique hang-out spot by adding a coffee bar in the space in 2011.
The store, which relocated from Melrose to Roosevelt Row in 2009, has a selection of more than 25,000 new and used LPs along with many CDs, DVDs, new and used turntables, collectibles, books pertaining to music and movies, audio accessories and small electronics. It also offers free Wi-Fi, and Jordan and Zimmerman love to host First Friday events. However, Jordan thinks a coffee component could help business even more.
Jordan says he wanted to appeal to the customers who are not really interested in music and don’t have anything to do while their friends browse for records.
“What’s something that everybody would want to partake in while they’re shopping? Coffee,” Jordan says. “So, what we were thinking is, we’ll have a record-store-slash-café so that way people can come in, they can get a cappuccino and they can shop for their records and enjoy this space.”
Jordan adds that the customers who are interested in music will benefit from it as well, and not just because the drinks will have rock-and-roll-themed names.
“We want to provide something a little different for our customers so they can experience record stores in a different way,” he says. “Instead of coming in and just looking for something, they can hang out and discuss (music).”
Jordan says his main project right now is revitalizing First Friday by helping to bring vendors back, but once that is rolling, he plans to start work on the coffee element. Once the renovations begin, he anticipates it will probably take less than a month to complete.
There are two main options for constructing the café, according to Jordan. The first and preferred method is inside the store in an area currently occupied by two couches and several tables of records. The second option is outside of the store in a container-type building, which wouldn’t require the store to reduce the size of its record collection.
Jordan says he hasn’t seen many record stores build coffee shops in their spaces, but he was inspired to add one after visiting the Laurel Canyon Country Store in Los Angeles, which has a successful coffee shop right outside the store. He also recalled the popularity of coffee shops in bookstores.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting once it gets done, and I think it’ll be a good addition to the Downtown culture,” he says.
Revolver Records is located at 918 N. 2nd St. in Evans Churchill (light rail at Roosevelt station) — 602.795.4980