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CLE+ Record Store Tour Day 4 Collinwood, OH

July 23, 2009
Music Saves (left) and Blue Arrow (right)

Music Saves (left) and Blue Arrow (right)

So is it a “Tale of Two Stores” or a “Battle of the Bands on Vinyl?” It’s more of a tale of an area that is moving forward in thinking and development. Thanks to the music.

The Waterloo District in Cleveland’s North Collinwood neighborhood is going through a resurgence, largely due to music. Just a few years ago there wasn’t much there. In 2000, Cindy Barber took a chance and turned the former Croatian Liberty Home into The Beachland Ballroom.  The Beachland is host to every type of music: punk, classic rock, independents, folk, bluegrass, whatever she and Mark Leddy think is interesting and will bring some folks in. I’ve seen everyone from The Kings of Leon and The Mooney Suzuki to Glenn Tilbrook, The Zombies and Ian Hunter at The Beachland. It it truly a great place to see a show in Cleveland.

Springing up on either side of The Beachland there are now galleries, a vintage store, the Waterloo Cafe, Shoparooni for fun toys and the two record stores I came for. Music Saves and Blue Arrow Records. This was an afternoon trip since the stores don’t open till later in the day, so lunch would now be dinner, and since there were two stores to visit, I had to split my money between them. (Actually there is a THIRD record store–This Way Out– in the basement of The Beachland, but they were not open yet).

Music Saves was up first. They are at 15801 Waterloo Rd. just down from the Beachland. Also here: MUSIC SAVES | Independent Record Store | Cleveland, Ohio. It’s a store that stocks what people call “indie.” A look through their website listed the recent top sellers as Dinosaur, Jr., Wilco, Neko Case, The Dead Weather and Sonic Youth. Most of the vinyl in stock is new, so there aren’t a lot of 45s for me, but I did find a 45 of The Dead Weather (Jack White of The White Stripes) for $5.99 and The Dirtbombs, (who I’ve been meaning to check out for some time) for $4.99. $11 down. $9 to go. The verdict? it’s a great store that does a good job of stocking the new music that I need to learn more about. Say hi to Vinyl the cat while you’re there…

A couple of doors down is Blue Arrow Records. Blue Arrow is a different kind of store. It’s big, it’s handmade, and it’s nearly all used vinyl. And on the day I visited, the “shrine area” was all CLASH. The only band that ever mattered (RIP Joe). This was my second trip to Blue Arrow and the owner actually remembered me. Pete’s a sweetheart, and has put a lot into the store. He covered every inch of the floor with old record covers and about a bazillion coats of urethane to keep it in place. When he couldn’t find bins to hold the records, he built them. He has a diverse mix of 45s for me to covet, from jazz and blues to 80s pop. On this visit I found a couple of 50 year olds… Chuck Berry and Dale Hawkins on Chess and Checker records. (Which were actually the same company) Total $9. I’ve got $10 left for dinner! Check the website Blue Arrow Records and Books for in-store shows and promotions. And hey, go buy some records so Pete can get air conditioning installed.

I had been to The Waterloo Cafe (corner of Waterloo and E. 156) before but my friend Lu hadn’t so we went there next. Friendly people there that are not afraid of using CHEESE! It’s a nice space with a full bar, lots of beer choices, wrap sandwiches, salads, bakery and coffees. I ordered the pita melt which was jack cheese and cheddar, with olives and tomato for $5.25 and a Great Lakes Grassroots Ale for $4. I went under budget by .75. Lu had the hummus and pita plate and Grassroots for the same price. This is a vegetarian-friendly place. Come by for a quick bite before a show at The Beachland….or anytime!

The Beachland area of North Collinwood is a great place to spend an evening of fun shopping, concerts and food. Here’s the pix: Beachland 7/21/09 – a set on Flickr.

Next up, Lakewood.

Note 4/1/10: since this post, unfortunately some of the establishments have changed hands or closed. The Waterloo Cafe is now Cafe : Arts Collinwood. Shoparooni has closed. The record stores and The Beachland Ballroom are still there and definitely worth the trip.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2009 5:41 pm

    Hey – thanks for the kind words!

    Hope you stop back often!

    • jukebox1965 permalink*
      July 24, 2009 9:51 pm

      You bet! we had a great time at the Waterloo. I will be back!

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