The Spirited Oak Cliff Record Store And Hi-Fi Shop Will Move Half A Mile Down The Road In October — But Not Before Sending Its First Location Off Proper.
Right around New Year’s Eve, Spinster Records owner David Grover had something of an epiphany.
He’d been booked to DJ the Bishop Arts District’s outdoor festivities for the calendar-turning holiday — and, all throughout his set, people just kept coming up to him to ask about the Spinster Records sign he’d set up beside the table holding his turntables. The crowds all wanted to know one thing: Where among this neighborhood’s trendy restaurants and adorable boutiques was this record store? A little ways up the road, he sheepishly replied before directing each person who asked to his shop, which has sat about half a mile down the way from the Bishop Arts District at 829 West Davis Street since it opened in 2014.
Grover didn’t really expect anything major to come from those polite bits of promotion, but his store’s sales figures proved him pleasingly wrong; that week, Spinster’s sales were three times what he’d anticipated them being.
“That,” Grover says now, “was my ‘Aha!’ moment.”
And he’s acting on it. Like Good Records before it earlier this year, Spinster Records is moving into a new home. Come October, the shop will officially start operating out of 408 North Bishop Avenue, an address found right in the heart of the Bishop Arts District and directly across the street from Eno’s Pizza Tavern.
It’s perhaps inaccurate to pin the move entirely on Grover’s eye-opening New Year’s Eve. Really, he concedes, that night’s experience mostly hammered home of a lesson he’d also been learning simultaneously at Spinster’s second location up in Tulsa, which Grover opened in 2017 in the wake of the success his Dallas store was experiencing. Up at that Oklahoma shop, sales have been good from the jump — the result, he says, of it being located along a more popular, more walkable drag than his Dallas home of the last five years.
Combined, those factors convinced Grover to pull the trigger on a thought he’d been harboring for more than a year now. Earlier this month, just about two month’s shy of his Dallas store’s five-year anniversary in October, he officially put pen to paper on a lease for his well-regarded record store and hi-fi shop’s new Bishop Arts space. It will take over the former home of the Ginger Fox Gallery, which recently relocated across the Trinity River to a new Design District space.
After the gallery moved, Grover says developers in Bishop Arts came calling, hopeful that they could entice his shop to join the recently opened jazz spot Revelers Hall as an anchor for the neighborhood’s slightly more music-oriented future. He says likeminded property owners in Deep Ellum also tried to lure Spinster to its climes — and he seriously considered taking that plunge for a while, too.
Ultimately, he decided to stay as close as possible to the neighborhood that has for so long supported his operation.
“We just love Oak Cliff,” Grover says. “And I love the old location too, honestly — we were doing really well there. But, in Tulsa, we saw the benefits of being an even more accessible record store than we were in Dallas, and we had to act on that.”
Spinster’s new home is actually one Grover says he eyed as a potential initial location for his business back when he was initially exploring the notion of opening his own record store. At the time, though, he worried that Bishop Arts’ higher rents would hand-cuff his business’ launch. Now, even in a space some 200 square feet smaller than its previous one, Grover is betting that an increase in foot traffic and an exposure to a wider variety of shoppers — instead of a reliance on destination buyers — will lead to the math working out in Spinster’s favor.
Besides, he says, the layout of the new spot should more than make up for the downsize in square footage. The floor of the retail area on Bishop is actually larger than it was on Davis; it’s the office and storage areas that are more affected by the change.
The new space affords Spinster Records a couple additional opportunities, too. Most notably, it will include a larger seating area than the last location, which Grover plans to use to highlight the turntables and speaker systems his shop specializes in beyond records. He also has plans for a larger-than-before area dedicated to the local streetwear and jewelry vendor wares his shop sells.
Staples from the first location will also make the move: The shop’s “record wall” will be expanded from a single-wall feature to a wraparound one at the Bishop Arts location. A stage for in-store shows will also once again be a centerpiece of the design, which is important considering that Grover says he expects Spinster’s second edition to book “way more shows than we hosted before.” That’s encouraging news, given how events — such as its annual “214 Day” parties, as well as other performances and even book signings — we vital in helping Spinster endear itself to its customer base.
Construction on the room — handled by JM Construction, which already helped Grover shape his Tulsa location and also locally handled the build-out of the music venue Canton Hall — is expected to begin in the coming weeks. Grover is hopeful the work is completed quickly; he’s targeted October 1 for the Bishop Avenue storefront’s opening.
In the meantime, the Davis Street location will host a variety of goodbye parties and clearance sales, the details of which his staff will soon start sharing to Spinster’s social media channels.
“It’s partly because we’re too lazy to bring [all of the store’s inventory] over to the new spot,” Grover says of those plans with a laugh. “But, really, we just want to send the old home that’s been so good to us off properly — and really celebrate it.”