In a storefront that is no bigger than some living rooms, John Roller has opened up a 300-square-foot vinyl record shop on Echo Park’s busy Glendale Boulevard. Roller, whose Mono Records opened about a week ago at 1805 Glendale Boulevard near Branden Street, sees opportunity on a strip that many consider blighted and choked with traffic. “I think the location is great, right at the foot of the 2 freeway,” said Roller. “Because of the traffic, the shop gets a lot of exposure in the afternoons when our doors are open.”
Despite its small size, Mono Records carries an inventory of about 1,000 mostly used vinyl records, with a focus on original pressings that the 27-year-old Roller has purchased from places across the country. The inventory includes albums from the Kinks and the Clash to Thelonious Monk and Woody Herman. Rare New Wave, Reggae, Doo Wop and Oldies titles can also be found.
“We carry a lot of L.A. artists and some new copies of albums that are nearly impossible to get original pressings of,” said Roller. “A few friends have record shops of their own, so I’ve gotten to know the business really well over the years.”
His store’s small size may work to his customer’s advantage, Roller said. “The size helps me to keep the prices affordable.”
1805 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park