Call it a modern-day business mash-up.
A new record store called Liquid Vinyl – to clarify, it’s a new shop that mostly sells used records – has opened in the basement of a Queen Village pet-supply store that also doubles as the headquarters for a dog-walking company.
Rich Miller, owner of Walk It Like a Dog at 934 E. Moyamensing, said he and a couple buddies had always wanted to open a record store but knew it wasn’t the best business venture. Then one day, it dawned on him that they had a rent-free space available downstairs.
After a year of collecting albums, Miller and partners Dave Tomar and Brian Schorn transformed the subterranean space worthy of selling singles of “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” The space is covered in tapestries, a concert-poster ceiling collage and few other nods to a college-years stoner den.
“Everyone’s wives were really happy to get all this crap out their house,” Miller joked.
But the selection is more than a mere personal collection. On top of thousands of classic records, the shop offers a handful of CDs from local bands — Low Cut Connie played a couple weekends back at the opening — as well as greeting cards, local artists’ work and photography, and vintage comic books.
According to their Facebook page, the shop offers “New and Used (but mostly Used) Records, Found Treasures and Other Pet Sounds.”
The basement will also host free live music (Liquid Vinyl was the name of their band-booking company) with a Free @ 3 show one Saturday a month. A lighting-designer friend installed LED track lighting that can be adjusted to accommodate showing off stock or spotlighting a show.
Tomar, a writer by trade, runs the shop. His book, “The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat,” drew enough attention that Diane Sawyer interviewed him with an obscured face and a robot voice in the basement before it was converted. The cat’s out of the bag now, though.
He also is a contributor to the Huffington Post.
Meanwhile, upstairs is the “real” business, the charming Walk It Like a Dog pet-supply store.
Miller also offers dog-walking services that are tracked by GPS so owners know that the walker actually took their dog somewhere instead of letting it out in the back yard.
Both businesses, up and down, are a little off the beaten path, but definitely worth a walk over. Head over to wish them luck and tell ’em Passyunk Post sent ya.