Tucked away inside Limited Distillery on Henegan Road, SRCvinyl is a somewhat unknown gem of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Featuring a wide range of genres including soundtracks and pop stars like Taylor Swift, this record shop-distillery combo offers a unique and expertly curated shopping experience.
For Record Store Day on Saturday, April 22, Stephen Steers, the warehouse manager and vinyl collector, brought out what he said was the “best of the best” for the shop’s loyal group of music lovers.
On Record Store Day, independents like SRC offer dozens of exclusive releases. “You’re allowed to start selling Record Store Day stuff after 8 a.m. so we opened the doors at 7,” said Steers.
The Virgil shop allowed customers, who started waiting outside as early as 3 a.m., to peruse non-Record Store Day items and enjoy breakfast refreshments including croissants and pastries, before re-entry at 8 a.m. to shop the exclusive drops.
“My regular Record Store Day crew were all here in full force. The first people that showed up were here just after 3 a.m. and my regular crew just started kicking in after that around 4:15, 5 o’clock,” Steers said.
He said many die-hard music fans were able to get what they came for.
“The big titles and the big names will always drive certain people and certain crowds. The Taylor Swift Record Store Day release is always a hot commodity. I had 10 copies and they were gone pretty quickly.”
“There’s always one or two soundtracks that people are excited about and you can never name them because they’re always changing, this year it was ‘Summer Rental,’ a John Candy movie from the ’80s,” said Steers.
Outside of Record Store Day, Steers still tries to keep what’s in high demand available both in-store and online. With a loyal group of in-store shoppers and a client list of around 40,000 online, that’s a tall order.
“I try to handpick and curate as much as possible,” Steers said.
“We get a little bit of both (NOTLers and visitors). When people come in from out of town if they’re into music they will always Google “record shop” and they’re always surprised to find one in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I constantly get the ‘I can’t believe how much cool stuff you have in here.’ ”
The shop, which opened at this location in 2016, has participated in Record Store Day for the last 10 years, with beginnings in its old Niagara Falls storefront
The store now works in tandem with Limited Distillery under the same small, family ownership and lets shoppers hunker down with a mixed drink after grabbing their favourite album.
SRCvinyl is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. You can find it at 14 Henegan Rd. or at https://www.srcvinyl.ca/.