Monday, June 24, 2024

Vinyl awaits sorting for customers on October 2017 at Somerville Grooves in Union Square, where the owner says buying has slowed. (Photo: Somerville Grooves via Facebook)

The Union Square record shop Somerville Grooves moves to Melrose on Aug. 20, with store owner Dave Plunkett saying he plans to reopen the shop on 200 Green St. by Labor Day weekend. Somerville Grooves has operated out of Union Square since 2011.

“Union Square has changed a lot, and that’s cool,” Plunkett said. “Many shops have left or closed. There are more bike lanes, which we need, but that’s taken away from parking, which makes it harder for people to bring in record collections. It’s that or the times – records don’t seem to come in like they did five years ago.”

Plunkett, a Melrose resident, said he’d been looking for an opportunity to move.

The shop opened after Plunkett was laid off from his writing job. “When I was in my 20s, I worked at In Your Ear Records and I liked that. Years later, I thought I’d give it a go,” he said.

“I grew up in the ’70s. Back then, if you wanted to listen to a lot of music, you had to have a lot of records or tapes. I didn’t even have a huge collection, but going to yard sales, you stood a good chance of finding a good collection,” Plunkett said. He opened Grooves in the Union Square location partially because of the annual Rock & Roll Yard Sale, a vinyl and vintage goods market.

Once left for dead in a digital age, vinyl is big business again, selling 17 million records in the first six months of 2021, the most recent period for which the the Recording Industry Association of America had data available.

Grooves carries mostly vintage records, but has a steady flow of classic reissues, local pressings and new releases. It’s at 26 Union Square, Somerville.

Plunkett’s desert-island disc? Hawkwind’s 1973 “Space Ritual.”

Anyway, “that’s today’s answer,” he said.

There will still be vinyl shops in Cambridge and Somerville after the departure of Somerville Grooves, including:

  • Armageddon Record Shop, 12 Eliot St. B, Cambridge
  • Big Dig Records, 2325 Massachusetts Ave., North Cambridge
  • Cheapo Records, 538 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge
  • Planet Records, 144 Mount Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge
  • Stereo Jacks, 736 Broadway, Ball Square, Somerville
  • Vinyl Index, 1 Bow Market Way No. 25, Union Square Somerville

A version of this story originally ran on the Somerville Wire.