Coffee & Music the Perfect Addiction?
Transient onlookers could mistake it for a fish and chip shop such are the colour combinations of the anterior. A blue backing to the name board is complemented by white outdoor settings akin to your favourite Williamstown seafood eatery but all reservations are put to bed upon entering the record store/bar/café. White Rabbit houses a wonderful collection of contemporary and antique records, from Jimi Hendrix to Crystal Castles and for prices as low as $1. DJs are spinning vinyl on weekends but more importantly there’s coffee and a comfortable seating area for you when the fatigue sets in.
176 Bellair Street, Kensington
We’re all aware that Yarraville is going through a mini commercial boom at the moment with its rising café scene and surging residential appeal and the Feedback Café is a picture of that expansion. The record store was already synonymous to the area prior to the upturn but a greater trickle of fresh clientele has propelled it into even greater relevance within the Melbourne café/music scene. They sell second-hand vinyl, from original blues & jazz to classic pop/rock & soul and create some of the best Grounded Pleasures hot choccie delights.
31 Ballarat Street, Yarraville
Having already featured in Beat’s Guides for its coffee-making aptitude, Alley Tunes makes this list instead for its ability to combine the two parallels. When a bunch of friendly and informed musos take over a record store not only are you bequeathed with an outstanding selection of the finest vinyl but educated guidance to help you find the record you so desire. They specialise in the underground dance scene which is most exciting given Melbourne’s boom in this genre and their espresso bar generates a simple but efficient beverage menu.
8/660A Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
The author of celebrated punk magazine Distort, Dan Stewart, along with the guys behind Melbourne punk label Cool Death have just opened up a small record store out the back of Carlton North’s dive bar A Fan’s Notes. Open Thursday to Sunday, Lulu’s has been considered a ‘micro’ record store for not only its miniature size but focus on peddling Melbourne’s most discrete vinyl collection. Within the same premises, A Fan’s Notes make a great espresso… or espresso martini, depends on what you’re into.
787 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
Another ‘micro’ record store to open up in collaboration with a café is A G Picks. They work in rhythm with itty bitty vegan coffee makers Magic Hour Espresso and prominent Richmond florist Lilac and the Cat. Run by the dudes from Melbourne garage outfit Mad Nanna, the store has no real theme but houses some of Melbourne’s most underappreciated and exclusive music. Magic Hour’s vegan cupcakes are to die for.
6 Cremorne Street, Richmond
They’re experts in the field of bohemian tie die and authentic jewellery and have recently expanded on their music section. From Stevie Wonder to Steve Winwood, Eclectico caters for predominantly soul, jazz and world music enthusiasts. While they don’t sell coffee, they have a homemade chai tea on offer which they infuse daily with fresh spices. Then lounge out the back in their retro courtyard and pat yourself on the back as you inspect the shine on your new LP.
163a Acland Street, St Kilda
Speaking to Joseph Simone from Fitzroy bar and kitchen stalwarts Houndstooth, the newly turned record store is in the process of a minor identity adjustment. Lofi is a fresh title Simone believes will encapsulate the restaurants evolution welcoming more live music and vinyl sales. Despite this, he reiterated the importance of the Houndstooth legacy and keeping that name strong. In competition with A Fan’s Notes for the best espresso martini and espresso double threat.
36 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Special Request Vinyl Record Bar
The recent vinyl boom has sprung hope and life into our record stores and as the industry claws its way back into relevancy, the opening of more stores such as Coburg’s Special Request Vinyl Record Bar brings great joy to us all. And when they boast a meteoric stash of the best underground dance and DJ friendly vinyl then you have to have a think to yourself and say – ‘do I really feel this good?’ On the 15th June, these guys will be open for coffee business as they team up with Gravity Espresso to bring the musos of Coburg their long blacks and lattes. It’s not here yet but it’s coming and it’s exciting.
14 Gaffney Street, Coburg
These guys have been the lifeblood of the Ballarat café/record scene for over two decades and while they’re not operating in Melbourne, they deserve a special mention. Upon arrival, you’re bestowed with Ballarat’s most eclectic and historical arrangement of records to sink your teeth into. Shop owner Greg Wood hasn’t pigeonholed the theme of the collection – there’s everything from Miles Davis to Yo La Tengo. It’s synonymous with Ballarat now and it always will be.
417 Sturt Street, Ballarat