On the eve of their 4 year anniversary, SolSta Records is doing something unique, especially during difficult times. The City Pages “Best Place to Buy Vinyl” winner is moving into a new location in St. Louis Park, expanding to over 2,000 square feet of retail space. For Phil and Hannah Borreson, the growth is bittersweet. Their cozy Minnehaha neighborhood location was a proven successful start to the business, filling their shelves, basement, and a blue Rockin’ Roller Bus with vinyl records. But they also see the potential of more retail space as a way to expand their inventory and grow their “Live at the Record Room” venue space.
“With all this new space, selling vinyl only scratches the surface of what we will get to do,” Phil states.
For many audiophiles, the new location will feel familiar. The Needle Doctor moved to the 6006 Excelsior Boulevard spot in 2010 and closed in November 2019 after being the resource of a wide array of turntable components, including record player needles, or styluses. SolSta Records will fill out the store with turntables, vintage magazines, cassettes, clothing, and an ever-growing collection of new and used records.
As Music in Minnesota shared in our 2019 article, SolSta has always had an innovative spirit. Their constantly updated online store gives people the ability to shop for records anytime of the day. Phil shared that that feature in itself has kept them alive this year. The new location has more back office space to handle more orders and keep that resource running. They also have a matching 2,000 square feet underneath them. Now that all of their vinyl is out of storage and displayed upstairs, there is potential for renting out the downstairs as a recording studio or office.
Their will be some additional features nestled inside the new location. Dylan the Dino, last seen outside McNally Smith College of Music finds a new home inside. A large rack of vintage music magazines like Rolling Stone and Magnet provide nostalgic impulse buys. Flashlight Vinyl’s record racks fit nicely in the space and make it easier to find what you’re looking for. The addition of a public bathroom and more public parking lots close to the store are vital conveniences for the larger store.
The layout of the larger space was also designed with their “Live at the Record Room” series in mind. You’re now able to see the performance area from the entire space, allowing more people in for shows and giving them the ability to shop while the show is happening. They will be hanging speakers and lighting from the ceiling, clearing up space and improving their sound.
With plans to have an outdoor market in the back, showcasing local artists and crafts, along with a bargain basement filled with discounted records, the intentions for SolSta Records is always looking forward.
“It’s kind of surreal. It seems like just yesterday that we opened up with a few hundred records in a tiny little place in South Minneapolis. All of this new breathing room will allow for growth we never dreamed of,” Phil and Hannah share.