After a long run in west Fort Worth, Doc’s Records & Vintage — the city's largest record store — closed its doors, with plans to reopen in a new location in the fall of 2017.
Music fans waited as fall came and went. Now Doc’s has finally reemerged — bigger and weirder than ever — in an enormous, colorful warehouse at 2632 Weisenberger St. in the Foundry District.
The new space is jam-packed with records, CDs, and cassettes — along with an interesting collection of turntables, speakers, and other used stereo equipment for sale. There are mannequins populating the aisles, along with a bizarre collection of T-shirts and posters that all seem to be at least 20 or 30 years old.
And of course, there are shirts, stickers, and bags with that disturbing logo of a man in a wheelchair, getting his fix from an IV that is somehow hooked up to a vinyl record — a not-so-subtle representation of people who are addicted to buying records.
It's all what we have come to expect from this strange paradise for vinyl junkies. But the new location is 9,800 square feet— a considerable upgrade from 4,000 at the previous location — and features an antique mall with 38 booths. Vendors are slowly moving all sorts of oddities and vintage items into this new area.
The new location also has a huge fenced-in back patio, a perfect spot for live music and other events. This outdoor area is located next to Inspiration Alley, the “outdoor art gallery.” Doc's exterior has already been covered with massive colorful murals to fit in.
This is the record store’s fourth location. Now 30, owner Jankins Boid first opened his shop in Hurst 12 years ago, as a teenager. A couple years later, he relocated to Montgomery Street in Fort Worth for a few years before that property was sold. That prompted a move to the spot on Camp Bowie, where he spent the past six years.
“There’s always a better opportunity,” Boid says, with a wild smile, standing in his new location and wearing a Doc’s shirt. “I was sick of that building. I needed more room and wanted to be in a better part of town with more traffic.”
The Foundry District used to be mostly warehouses. It still is, but they are rapidly being repurposed. The area is becoming known for an interesting mix of non-chains including coffee shops, restaurants, a food truck park, bars, apartments and town houses.
“I like Fort Worth,” Boid says. “There’s plenty of room for expansion and a lot of people want to do cool things with it. Hopefully we’ll stay down that path and it doesn’t get too much like Dallas.”
The antique mall will allow him to both expand and largely hand to the vendors the responsibilities of offering a curated selection of vintage stereo equipment, clothes and posters. Boid now prefers to focus mostly on records, but says he wants to keep the antique mall interesting and has no interest in items like plates.
From the looks of things so far, the booths will offer an unpredictable assortment of vintage furniture and clothing, skateboards, medical equipment, cameras, strange artwork, and even taxidermy.
Moving to the new space took a toll.
“We took a beating,” Boid says, with a sigh, reflecting on his most recent relocation. “I packed and for weeks I was told I should be able to move next week. But the power didn’t get turned on until February 15.”
From there, he spent weeks moving approximately 120,000 records and getting the new place set up.
“I try to cater to everybody,” Boid says. “I carry pretty much every kind of music.”
He even carries ancient 78-rpm records, which are especially heavy and brittle. They aren't easy to transport, either.
“They are so awful,” Boid says, remembering the move. “Two boxes of those are like nine million pounds. Moving a box of 78’s is the most awful thing in the world. Luckily, we didn’t find too many of them broken.”
Boid lost track of how many trips he made moving all the records, by way of 26-foot trucks. But 15 years into his addiction to vinyl records, he has no regrets: “It’s just a thing that happens. People collect stuff and I’ve always collected records. It’s fun and I’ve made a career out of it.”
Doc's will serve as a sponsor Saturday, March 24, as part of Spring Gallery Night, hosting live music for the Mantra Madness event at The Foundry. It's 5-8 p.m. at Inspiration Alley, 2625 Whitmore St., Fort Worth. on March 24, Doc's will get to put its outdoor space to use. It's free, but register at eventbrite.com. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/364931537250520/.