Deep Ellum has a unique new hybrid spot that combines vinyl records, DJ sets and craft beer. Called Off the Record, it's a collaboration between Good Records and the owners of Club Dada, its next-door neighbor.
Off the Record celebrated its soft opening on August 26, with a DJ set by DJ CeePee, as in Chris Penn, co-owner of Good Records; it'll host a grand opening on September 12 with a celebrity DJ still to be announced.
Still under construction, it takes over the mostly vacant area that used to function as a storage area/green room for Dada. The space has exposed brick walls, with one boasting a stencil of the company logo, cement floors and a festive outdoor patio in back. The idea came from Dada co-owner Josh Florence, who recruited Penn and Good Records to oversee the spins.
"When Josh suggested it, I said, 'That's a no-brainer,'" Penn says. "The culture right now is primed for that exact combination. Craft beer is going through the roof, and so is vinyl. You put two winners together. And Deep Ellum is finally starting to pick up."
Penn describes the concept as "three-fourths bar, one-fourth record store." It has two dozen taps with local and craft beers, plus bins of vinyl records for browsing and purchasing. Penn says there are more than 1,000 records in place now, but that will expand as the space gets finished.
"Our involvement is curating the records," Penn says. "When I'm doing my ordering for Good Records, I'll order extra copies for Off the Record. I expect we'll be over there pretty regularly adding new stock."
There'll be events, guest DJs and after-parties too. "If someone were playing at Trees, say The Deftones, we'd get singer Chino Moreno to come over and DJ, like a quasi-in-store," Penn says. "It already has a great vibe, and it isn't even finished construction yet."
This puts a record store back in Deep Ellum.
The last Previous stores included BPM, Remix, AWOL Records on Main Street (an offshoot of CDX in Hurst) and Last Beat Records, located across the street on Elm. And record buyers may recall that Good Records used to be located on Good Latimer, before the DART Rail station was built.
Vinyl is enjoying a resurgence, Penn says.
"We've always sold vinyl at Good Records, but people are loving used vinyl even more than new," he says. "From Jim Croce to Peter Frampton, they're finding out about old bands, going back and doing the research.
"These days, you see a 20-year-old girl in the store carrying around a stack of vinyl records. You wouldn't have seen that 10 years ago; you'd only see the old vinyl diehards. People are getting back to the event of taking an hour and listening to a record together [to] make it more of a communal event."