Hymie’s Records, a famed spot for vinyl in Minneapolis, is for sale

July 24, 2018

One of the Twin Cities best-loved record stores is for sale, but the owners are pledging to sell it only to someone who wants to keep the music spinning there.

Dave and Laura Hoenack, who bought Hymies Records in Minneapolis nine years ago, want to spend more time with their two kids. So they are fielding offers to sell their vinyl specialty store, located on a revived stretch of East Lake Street in south Minneapolis.

Theyre not interested in just liquidating their stock of vinyl records, though.

I want to still be able to go to a neighborhood record store in my own neighborhood, Dave Hoenack said.

In 2010, the Hoenacks moved the shop five blocks east, from its crumbling original location to the current site at 3820 E. Lake St. They happen to live nearby, which is one reason they want to see the Hymies tradition carried on one that includes strong local-music, classical and childrens sections, a much-loved difficult listening bin and the most popular Record Store Day party in town each April.

Named one of the best record stores in the country by Rolling Stone in 2010 and specifically shouted out by Adam Ad-Rock Horovitz of the Beastie Boys in a 2005 Star Tribune interview, Hymies originally opened in 1988 as a maze of bins run by eclectic collector Jim Hymie Peterson.

Two of his employees took over after he passed away in 2000 before selling to the Hoenacks. Their purchase required a leap of faith at the time, considering the sad shape of the old building as well as the still-shaky stability of the record business in the digital era. Not to mention, neither had any experience in retail or as a small business owner.

With their children now at ages 9 and 10, Dave Hoenack said, they are feeling the full brunt of just how much time and dedication it takes to running a store like theirs.

We want to be able to go up north with the kids in the summer and take family vacations, which is just something thats hard to do as a store owner even when you have great employees, he said. Hoenack formerly worked in public schools and will likely return to that line of work, as will his wife.

He emphasized that the store has been doing well amid the revitalization of vinyl record sales: Weve obviously been able to support our family off it, he said. I really dont see any reason the business wont continue to grow.

The neighborhood around Hymies has grown, too. Since moving next door to Blue Moon Coffee Shop, Hymies has arguably helped revive the stretch of Lake Street that now includes restaurants such as the Sonora Grill, Hi-Lo Diner and Peppers Fries, as well as the Dogwood Coffee Bar, Longfellow Market and other new businesses.

Id like to think we maybe had a little something to do with the turnaround, Dave said, but no matter what its been great to be a part of it, and great to run the store as long as we have.

612-673-4658 @ChrisRstrib

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