A record store is a sanctuary, a place where treasures are kept, discoveries are made, and where epiphanies take place. A good record store tells a story. It has character, a personality, and might look a little worse for wear. It has walls lined with unusual jazz records from Europe, album covers from bands you’ve never heard of, the sound of LPs being played behind the counter, and a clerk who wears cynicism like a cloak. Like a barber shop, the record store is a gathering place; a spot to connect with other listeners and bond over the vastness of sound.
Logan Hardware is an old boot of a record store, its red walls and dusty floor make the place feel more like a carpenter’s woodshed than a place to find great records. Once inside, the room engulfs you in everything that is grand about purchasing music in public, surrounded by ephemera and history. The store’s space is quite large and features thousands of LPs organized by musical style and format. One of the more unusual aspects of the shop is a fully functioning arcade, where customers can play a series of 1980s arcade games, all free of charge. The sites and sounds of the arcade space create a sort of suspended reality where you’re transported back to a mid-western town in 1985. As customers slowly wander into the arcade, giggling is often heard along with exclamations of “holy crap” and “oh my god!” Arcades, and the games they held, were the single most important adolescent activity for a large swath of American youth, and with their back room arcade, Logan Hardware has created a sort of temple to American puberty.
Logan Hardware arcade photo: John Dedeke
Logan Hardware is located at 2410 W. Fullerton in Chicago, and is open from
Monday-Saturday 12:00pm - 9:00pm and Sunday 12:00pm - 7:00pm.