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Record Breakers Celebrates 25th Anniversary

By aaroncynic in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 5, 2013 8:15PM

“We’re a venue for musicians, by musicians,” Brendan Joyce, booking agent at Reggie’s, said just before going to sit down at a table of new customers who had questions about that night’s show.

Brendan (full disclosure - Joyce is a long time friend of this reporter) is probably one of the friendliest guys a person could meet. After the bartender mentioned a table full of out-of-towners just visiting for drinks wanted details on the show later that evening, he sauntered over to give them a head’s up, then added some tips on his favorite parts of Chicago.

Such is the atmosphere at Reggie’s Rock Club/Music Joint/Record Breakers, who are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the record store this weekend. “It’s like one big dysfunctional happy family,” said owner Robbie Glick of the combination music venue, bar, restaurant and record store.

Glick opened up Record Breakers in North suburban Hoffman Estates in 1988 with a friend. “It was a real modest mom and pop shop, not too much inventory. Looking back at old pictures it’s really funny how sparse the store was,” Glick said. Being one of the first shops to sell used CD’s helped the small store in the suburbs grow into a much larger Chicago music institution.

Another aspect to the rise of Record Breakers back in the late 90’s were in-store performances the shop hosted on Sunday’s.

Glick said he decided to have the first in-store performance by local bands when Record Breakers moved to a bigger location in the suburbs in 1996.

"We decided as a last hurrah in the old store we’d have bands play all weekend. It went over so well we decided bands to play as often as we could in the new store," Glick said.

Six years ago, Glick and company decided to move the location to the South Loop in Chicago to accommodate combining both selling albums and hosting live music.

“We saw the writing on the was getting really hard to sell music. We wanted to concentrate on the music venue. You can’t replace live music by throwing on a DVD.

"While the music venue, bar and restaurant have become the primary source of business, the record store is what makes Reggie’s unique, Glick said. “Every venue has food, drinks, a pool table - not every venue has a record store,”Glick said.

Honoring its tradition, Record Breakers will host a series of in store performances on the second floor of the sprawling venue all weekend.

In addition, the Rock Club has a long lineup of acts, from 90’s emo/post hardcore act Braid to comedian Doug Standhope, who will perform both Saturday and Sunday.

Finally, almost all the music you can purchase from Record Breakers is on sale through the weekend.

October 5: Rock Club, 7PM, All Ages, $18: Braid, All Eyes West, Break Anchor, Suns
October 5: Rock Club Midnight, 18+, $25: Doug Stanhope, Junior Stopka, Timmy Williams
October 6: Rock Club 9PM, 18+, $25: Doug Stanhope, Junior Stopka, Timmy Williams

Record Breakers is located at 2105 S. State St.