Don Radcliffe opened the first Ella Guru in Vista Grove shopping center in the late 1990s. A few years later he packed up and relocated to the Publix-anchored Toco Hill shopping center. The store later expanded into a second storefront but in 2007, he moved once again. Subleasing a small space from an adjacent scooter shop, Ella Guru reopened on Elizabeth Street in Inman Park in late 2007. The store was not far from today's Victory Sandwich. When the scooter shop closed and Radcliffe was unable to negotiate a new economical feasible lease, he closed the shop in February 2009.
Now, with seemingly more media purchasing taking place online than ever before, Ella Guru (Record Shop) has returned to its original neighborhood and reopened adjacent to the new Beer Growler Nation in Oak Grove shopping center on LaVista Road. The store quietly opened late last month in place of the shuttered Beehive hair salon but only recently removed the former shop's signage and replaced it with their own. For now the shop is open from 11-8 Tuesday through Sunday.
Today's Ella Guru currently features almost entirely vinyl versus the CD and DVD heavy inventory of prior store incarnations. CDs may be added down the road, but a renewed interest in old school media has made vinyl Rodcliffe's focus for now. Turntables and headphones are also being mentioned as possible store additions in the future.
During the store's bricks & mortar existence, Radcliffe maintained an online presence for EG. "Ella Guru LPs & CDs" currently has nearly 600 items listed for sale in their eBay store consisting of both used and new product.
Seeing Ella Guru come back reminds me of my many trips to BackTracks at Toco Hills in the 90s. BackTracks and Disc-Go-Round were both predecessors to Ella Guru and chain operators like CD Warehouse, but neither exists today.
Last year Atlanta almost lost Criminal Records, a store that had developed a cult-like following and had satisfied the needs of local music and comic fans for more than 20 years. The store was slated for closure but has managed to hang on. Wax N' Facts has lasted 36 years, originally opening in June 1976 in the heart of Little 5 Points on Moreland Avenue.
Back in 2010, Fantasyland Records, a Peachtree Road mainstay for 34 years relocated to Pharr Road and has continued to supply quality vinyl, LPs and assorted other media to Atlanta.
Do you still buy media in stores? If so, where do you shop most often? What was the first song you ever heard on vinyl? Will Betamax make a comeback? Please share your thoughts below.