Edgeville Buzz

As Many Small Businesses Close, One Local Andersonville Shop Expands

Rattleback owners Mike & Paul

Like a forest fire, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent forced business closures have scorched the business landscape throughout the world. Pushing through however, are small signs of life that signal that we will in time rise again.

Edgewater and Andersonville are an urban example of the financial toll small businesses faced this year. But today and tomorrow we will highlight in separate stories two area storefronts that are bravely breaking through the ashes.

Who would expand at a time like this? One local record store, Rattleback Records at 5405 N. Clark has answered that question. They have taken over the storefront next door at 5407 N. Clark after Martha Mae: Art Supplies and Beautiful Things took their retail shop online-only earlier this year.

Rattleback Records opened two years ago along the Andersonville strip bringing the nostalgic pleasure of vinyl albums to the neighborhood. But owners Paul Ruffino and Mike Weaver supply much more than just a retail experience. Reminiscent of Motormouth Maybelle’s Record Shop in Hairspray, Rattleback has created a community that stops by regularly to share the love of music and often enjoy live performances by small, independent artists.

“One anyone walks through the door into Rattleback Records, we already have something in common because everyone likes music,” said Charlie Wein who is Rattleback Records’ Media and Events Coordinator. “As we develop a relationship with our customers (who we prefer to call friends), we have created a community that comes in to just have a chat about things like music and movies.”

Buying and selling unique and hard-to-find music on vinyl however is what they do best. With many customers eager to sell their in-demand vintage treasures, the store has amassed such a large selection of titles that there is not enough room to display all their inventory.

When the store one door North became available, they found a landlord eager to rent out the space. They quickly struck a deal that would give Rattleback Records twice the amount of room to stock their product and also allow for more performance space.

“Even during Covid, Andersonville remains a rewarding place to open a business,” said Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s Laura Austin. “Owners Paul Ruffino and Mike Weaver are two of the loveliest humans, and we need music now more than ever. Music has the power to establish connection and foster joy, and Rattleback’s capacity to expand right now provides the neighborhood with something to look forward to and celebrate.”

In fact, this Sunday (Nov. 1), the store will be hosting a celebration for both their two-year anniversary and to help launch the new expansion. Wein added that this will also be an event to thank the Andersonville community. From 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Expect live performances from local artists such as Cezanne Fink, Walker, Dance Loud and DJ Tuff N’ Stuff as well as baked goods from Defloured Bakery, coffee from Colectivo, and a wine tasting by In Fine Spirits.

“Obviously we want to celebrate our expansion and our Birthday,” said Wein. “But this event on Sunday will also be a celebration of Andersonville. We wouldn’t be able to do this without the community, the other businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.”


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