Round Trip Records is Worth a Trip
What better way to spend a weekend than to bask in the energy of a community shop? There is none. So, I headed toward Round Trip Records in Chicago’s North Park neighborhood.
I entered this cozy store, which is located at 3455 W Foster Ave, looking for a jazz record. I suggested a couple names, and lo and behold, Round Trip Records hooked me up. The owners, David Baker and Paul Nixon, were super friendly, helping me sift through the bins to locate just what I needed for my mother’s birthday present: The Complete Dinah Washington, volume one. It was in lovely condition and only $9.99, just like the rest of the store’s fair prices on used records.
Round Trip Records sells both new and used vinyl records, along with CDs, DVDs, cassettes, and books. You know you want something, and there’s plenty to choose from. New arrivals to the store’s solid stock range from fan favorites like Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black to older experimental, electronic works like Negativland’s The World Will Decide. With options from alternative to funk to dream pop and so much more, ask for a recommendation, and Round Trip Records will surely satisfy. It’s a small shop but neatly boasts a wide selection to choose from, and the customer service made shopping feel even more comfortable and personal. I would definitely return to Round Trip when I need guidance on what I should buy.
Though the shop is newer to the block, only having opened a few years ago, it has already managed to earn its slot as a community staple. While I was browsing, a regular popped in, sharing what they thought about their last purchase as they began to look around. With back-and-forth banter between the regular and the store owners, it was clear Baker and Nixon know how to make locals feel at home. Those neighbors who live right around the block are lucky to be so close to Round Trip Records, a North Park treasure everyone should try and make the trek to.
Despite initial struggles getting started due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners came out on top with their shop. Where else would have the original pressings of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia LPs fans are looking for?
If you’re not already in the area, a number of Pace buses will grant you easy access to the chiller, almost suburban vibes of North Park. Round Trip Records is only open Thursday through Sunday (12-8 p.m. Saturday, 12-6 p.m. Sunday), so plan ahead on making this lovely storefront a part of your next weekend itinerary. Or, check out its online shop on its website. Round Trip Records is also active on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter — so keep an eye out for its occasional 10% off everything sales and any particularly cool finds posted.