Tempe's Double Nickels Co-Op Now Open

The interior of Double Nickels in Tempe.
The interior of Double Nickels in Tempe.
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman

One of the first things that Michael Pawlicki wants you to know about Double Nickels Record Collective is that -- despite its name -- the place isn't only about records. Yes, there are a slew of vinyl platters available for purchase at the new Tempe cooperative pop-up shop, which opened its doors this past weekend, but new and used wax ain't the only thing for sale.

See also: 10 Favorite Vintage Shops in Metro Phoenix

That's because several local non-music-related retailers are involved with the collaborative boutique, including such familiar names as Ash Avenue Comics and Meat Market Vintage. Pawlicki, who owns the Ghost of Eastside Records and will be stocking his voluminous selection of LPs and 45s, says the intent behind Double Nickels is to offer "all sorts of stuff."

"It's way more than just records at the store," he says. "There are clothing people involved, comic book people involved, and other people involved besides record geeks."

That's how Pawlicki envisioned the project when he first started looking for a new location for the Ghost of Eastside Records. Over the past couple of years, the 50-year-old Valley resident has opened several pop-up versions of his store around Tempe during the cooler months before heading out of town for the summertime.

And when Pawlicki was hunting for a place to open the latest incarnation of Eastside, he decided to change things up a bit, both in size and scope. First off, the 2,100-square-foot space (which is situated in Danelle Plaza near Southern and Mill avenues in Tempe) is a bit larger than the other locations he's occupied in the past.

"I was about to move into a smaller spot, but went with something bigger," he says.

And secondly, it's a collaborative endeavor. Pawlicki reached out to Kimber Lanning of Stinkweeds, Ben Funke of Meat Market, Drew Sullivan of Ash Avenue Comics, and other independent businesses of a music or cultural bent to get involved with the project and feature their respective wares at Double Nickels.

Meat Market Vintage's racks inside the Double Nickels space.
Meat Market Vintage's racks inside the Double Nickels space.

Other shops participating in Double Nickels include local label King of the Monsters, the vintage audiophiles of Stereophonic High Fidelity, and shops like Record High and Redfield Records.

Each partner will have its own portion of the space to display and sell items. Meat Market, for example, built several wooden racks for secondhand vintage fashions and clothing.

"I'd seen this in other cities and wanted to try something different. Almost like an antique mall but geared toward younger people of that culture," Pawlicki says. "Just throw all sorts of crazy stuff into one place and see how it flies."  

A couple shelves full of Corey Busboom's finds at Double Nickels.
A couple shelves full of Corey Busboom's finds at Double Nickels.

He also brought in prolific local artist Corey Busboom, who is renowned for his unique thrift store finds and the funky belts and other items he creates under his Strange Pursuit label.

"Corey is going to bring in whatever the hell he cares to," Pawlicki says. "Probably whatever sort of things he dug up lately, like maybe old video games or cassettes or weird electronic equipment."

Busboom says he plans to bring in "belts and things" to the store, as well as possibly some local band shirts as well.

"I can bring whatever I want," he says. "I might bring some roller skates."

Ash Avenue Comics, on the other hand, won't be as scattershot with its offerings at the co-op. Sullivan says they will feature a selection of small press, indie comics, and alternative titles -- such as "old issues of Weirdo and Zap Comix to more current titles like Black Hole" -- as well as more mainstream books by the likes of Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman.

"We will have the sort of stuff I used to see when I went to old Tower Records or what they had for sale at the [original] Eastside Records," Sullivan says. "What we'll have depends on what people are buying."

Pawlicki says that they're open to including other sorts of vendors and retailers who'd like to become involved.

"We're gonna leave a little space for other people to come in with other ideas, like anything that involved with culture: stereo equipment, electronics, or even art for that matter," he says. "Whatever someone wants to bring in that they think is appropriate. Anything that would be interesting to the type of people that would come in here is something I'd be open to seeing."

Double Nickels Record Collective is open daily. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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