HAGERSTOWN, MD (CelebrityAccess) – Maryland’s largest record store, Hub City Vinyl, has been the go-to destination for purchases. Now, a live music venue is in the works.
“It will be something like Blues Alley in Washington, DC,” said Sheree Thoburn, “where the point of it is to listen to the music artists, but not quite as formal a venue like Maryland Theatre.”
Hub City Vinyl is housed in a massive 20,000-square-foot historic Art Deco-style building saved from decades of neglect by its owners, Sheree and Lloyd Thoburn. The store houses over 20,000 records, cassettes, CDs, music books, and merch. It has become a must-visit for locals and visitors alike – open seven days a week, the store does not offer online sales. Customers from as far as Pittsburgh and Delaware – seek everything from new hits out on vinyl to the obscure – in every genre imaginable.
“I always think of it as my accidental business,” Sheree said to The Frederick News Post. “We’re proud of what we created. People walk in the door and their mouths drop. Warren Buffet said a good business has the ability to delight its customers, and I think we do that.”
The current building was previously the place of various car dealerships and then sat vacant before it was acquired by the City of Hagerstown. The city offered the building for sale in a bid process with the clause that the business had to benefit the city in some way.
“This is an Art Deco building, so we went to Miami’s Art Deco district to get our purple and green color scheme,” Sheree said. “Our priorities were beautiful, comfortable, accessible.”
They uncovered the large car dealership windows that had been painted and boarded over, then tinted them to protect the records from the sun.
In October 2021, the couple opened additional space in the large building to accommodate their ever-growing inventory of records and ended up doubling their retail space.
They plan to continue renovations and open up a roughly 200-person capacity live music venue, Hub City Vinyl Live, as their next venture. They’re currently exploring their options on how to maximize use of the space, possibly partnering with other entities, such as a brewery or coffeehouse.
The store is handicap accessible and customer-friendly, with wide aisles and a swank listening area that will make you feel like you are at your hip friend’s apartment. A quarter of the store’s stock are new releases, with an amazing selection of both new and used records. Hub City Vinyl is always acquiring more used record collections and, as a result, there is something for everyone at every price point.