The Hawthorne store will continue to be in operation until the end of June, so there is still time to find a new spot. It’s a tricky endeavor, though, because of the nature of Crossroads’ business. Unlike typical record shops, Crossroads is more like a couple dozen smaller record stores smashed into one big antique mall or farmers market of records—or, perhaps, a more accurate analogy is that it’s like a permanent, year-round, brick-and-mortar record show. Dealers have their own individual sections, where they sell their collections on consignment, and there’s a centralized point of sale, usually staffed by Swedberg or business partner Thomas Jones, where all the transactions are made. But the rest of the store is a vast labyrinth of record bins—an anal retentive’s nightmare, and a browser’s paradise. It’s a unique store and the single best spot for used vinyl in the city. If you can’t find it at Crossroads, you probably haven’t looked hard enough.
But this means Crossroads’ new location must fit an unusual set of requirements. It needs to be a large, relatively open space, not a rabbit warren of smaller rooms. (The SE Hawthorne building’s owners will be carving up the Crossroads space into exactly that, to accomodate multiple smaller tenants. Crossroads’ next-door neighbors at Artichoke Music have also been required to leave—the folk-music and acoustic instrument store recently signed a lease for a new location at 2001-2007 SE Powell.) The new Crossroads will also need to have the capacity to move large amounts of records in and out, as well as a layout that allows for those staffing the register to keep an eye on the entire shop to prevent shoplifters. The current Crossroads is roughly 3,000 square feet, and Swedberg tells the Mercury that they could actually use more room, as there is currently a long waiting list of sellers who would like to rent table space at Crossroads.
This means the pressure’s on for Swedberg and Jones to find the right home for Crossroads. (A third business partner will not be making the transition to the new location; they’ll be buying out his share, provided they can find a new place to continue the business.) Swedberg says it’s likely they’ll be moving further out, perhaps in the direction of 82nd. While the Hawthorne foot traffic has always been a boon, Crossroads is the type of business that always will be a destination for dedicated record fanatics, boasting a reputation among vinyl hounds all across the country.
We’ll keep you posted as to the future of Crossroads Music. If they are forced to close, the loss to record collectors—in Portland and far beyond—will be unthinkable. (Perhaps if you’re a commercial real estate agent or know of a good, affordable place where Crossroads can go, maybe don’t keep it to yourself.) In the meantime, the store at 3130 SE Hawthorne will remain open until the end of June.