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Best record store in Charlotte, North Carolina?

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by hitmanhart408, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. hitmanhart408

    hitmanhart408 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Hey folks,

    I'm hoping I get can get some recommendations on the best record stores in Charlotte preferably near downtown. I'll be there for work this week and will have 4-5 hours to kill before heading back to the airport.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Howlin Fester

    Howlin Fester Active Member

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC USA
    I just went to Manifest records two weeks ago while in town. I WISH I had 4-5 hours to spend there. Alas, I had to rush through in 30 minutes.

    Bring an empty suitcase.
     
    Blastproof and Mr. LP Collector like this.
  3. drpep

    drpep Whizzing and pasting and pooting through the day

    Location:
    Corning, New York
    Isn’t Manifest just an FYE? The only time I was there they were in the process of changing over.
     
  4. Howlin Fester

    Howlin Fester Active Member

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC USA
    I don't know if Manifest was FYE or not. If it is, it is the largest one I have ever seen. It is in a strip mall on south Blvd. It is the same size or larger than Zia Records west in Vegas. That was the largest music store I've been in prior to Manifest.

    It was sufficiently stocked enough to take my available money and wish I had more time.
     
  5. Howlin Fester

    Howlin Fester Active Member

    Location:
    Raleigh, NC USA
    I should clarify that I am from Raleigh NC. We have a bunch of smaller record stores in town but nothing that is the scope of Zia or Manifest.

    In addition, I've only been to Char, Vegas, and Raleigh searching for records. And Orlando for used CDs. Only back into vinyl since 2018.

    Another good one is Lunchbox records. I visited it a few years ago. It is also an excellent locally owned record store closer to Uptown Charlotte. (Char calls their downtown area "Uptown") You could easily spend time there then run down to Manifest. Both are relatively close to each other if you are not in peak drive time.
     
  6. aperfecttool

    aperfecttool Ænimic

    Location:
    RDU, NC, USA
    about 3-4 years back had a chance to pop into couple of them (on a Black Friday) which if I recollect had decent collection including the RSD stuff - Lunchbox was one of them but I can't remember the name of the other.
     
    Blastproof likes this.
  7. hitmanhart408

    hitmanhart408 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I went to Repo Records briefly because it was the closest store to where I was downtown. I walked in and the store had that old school vibe so I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately the very large rock selection was placed vertical so you had to twist your neck to look at the spine one by one. I quickly lost patience. They also had a lot of brand new records so not exactly the “old school” used vibe i initially hoped for. Prices seemed reasonable though.
     
  8. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    I’ve only been to Lunchbox and it was excellent :cheers:
     
    Blastproof likes this.
  9. Antenociticus

    Antenociticus Forum Resident

    I was working in NC earlier this week, I made a point to visit Manifest Discs. Excellent store - it took me a while to find it because their sign was unlit and it was dark.
    I wish I could've spent a lttle more time there - It's a big place - I still managed to drop $100. . . ..
    In speaking with the guys on the counter they told me that they were no longer owned by FYE but were now owned by HMV!
     
    Blastproof likes this.
  10. Tommy Burton

    Tommy Burton Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    If you want to find the rare and hard-to-find stuff, it's worth the drive out to Matthews and paying a visit to Noble Records. That dude finds some crazy stuff and is constantly getting excellent things of all genres. And his prices are fair. It's worth it just to follow him on Instagram just to see the amazing stuff he is always stocking the store with.

    I have been to Manifest one time. It was a couple of years ago. It is huge. And there is plenty to dig around for. And I could tell it was an FYE (at the time). But if size matters, then it's worth a look.

    Lunchbox has tons of great new stuff. Also great for Record Store Day titles. I have not been overly impressed with their used selections.

    Repo. Ah, Repo. Aside from the above mentioned way the records are shelved, they also keep the records in sealed baggies. If you want to look at the information, like label and dead wax, you have to take it to the front and one of the employees takes it out. This is super annoying. The owner, Jimmy, can be a notorious grump. He yelled at a friend of mine, who is a regular customer, about not reaching out on FB regarding RSD releases. I wanted to yell back at him that my friend doesn't even do FB. Just not a pleasant experience. But, I will admit, he has a great selection of Beatles and solo Beatles. If that's your thing, check it out.

    There is also a place in Kannapolis (just outside Charlotte) called Recyclable Records. Worth the drive. It isn't a huge selection, but the owner is very cool. They also do RSD.

    A couple of blocks from Recyclable is another store. It was closed when I was there (on RSD, nonetheless), but it looks like it might be worth a stop for digging.

    Here's my ranking of Charlotte-area record store (that I've been to):
    1. Noble Records (A collector's dream)
    2. Recyclable Records (Small, but friendly)
    3. Lunchbox Records (Really almost a tie with 2. If it's new, then this is the place.)
    4. Manifest (Big. Plan on spending some time, but the used stuff is pretty common.)
    5. Repo (Interesting selection, great Beatles, but definitely a hassle if you want to inspect your records before buying them.)

    TB
     
    keef00 likes this.
  11. live evil

    live evil Forum Resident

    Location:
    ohio
    If you are staying uptown, and you don’t have a car, you can take the light rail to Manifest.
     
  12. brendonbourque

    brendonbourque Well-Known Member

    I will also put in a plug for Noble Records. Guy that runs that place is a really down to earth and just overall good dude.
     
    Blastproof and Tommy Burton like this.
  13. JDeanB

    JDeanB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Charlotte, NC USA
    Good to hear about Noble. I moved out of Charlotte about three years ago and have not been to the stores in over a year. At some point, I hope to get back to check out the stores.
     
    Tommy Burton likes this.
  14. JDeanB

    JDeanB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Charlotte, NC USA
    Interesting. Manifest used to be an independent store before they were purchased by FYE. I didn't care for some of the changes that happened, such as when they became as much merchandise as music. But I almost always found good stuff. (I am more a CD person than vinyl,) I used to work a couple of miles from the store and was 'one of the regulars'.
    Anyone else remember when Repo was on Central Avenue in the 90s? The store disappeared for a number of years before returning at the current location.
    Heck...I remember that wonderful Grapevine store on Independence!
    I personally don't find Lunchbox to be particularly welcoming--I'm long passed the age of being young and hip. They do have some interesting new vinyl.
    Is Noble a vinyl only store?
     
    keef00 likes this.
  15. Tommy Burton

    Tommy Burton Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Noble is mainly vinyl. I think he has a smattering of used CDs and such, but just a smattering. He's all about the wax.
    TB
     
  16. keef00

    keef00 Forum Resident

    I finally made it out to Noble Records last week, and was mildly disappointed. Lots of the same old stuff, except the "just in" bin was dominated by Metal picture discs. I left empty-handed, but I'll give it another go when I'm on that side of town again.
     
  17. Tommy Burton

    Tommy Burton Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    It's been a few months since I've been. a lot of his inventory depends on the collections he buys. I'd advise you to stay tuned to social media accounts to keep up with what he's getting. From what I gather, he tends to drop his newest and best stuff on Saturdays. Whenever he has a big drop, he'll show it on his Instagram and Facebook pages.
    TB
     
  18. Blastproof

    Blastproof Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    Holy serendipity. I was just wondering about this question. We are fortunate enough to be returning to the Charlotte area soon. We lived near there about 10 years ago, and my eyes bugged out when I saw this thread. My two favorite places then were Lunchbox and Manifest. The best part about Manifest, besides the tremendous selection (of all kinds of things,) is that it wasn't far from Mac's Speed Shop - a good barbecue restaurant. Anxious to get back!
     
  19. Mark B.

    Mark B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Concord, NC
    Manifest and Lunchbox are doing well. I believe COVID got the best of Mac’s, though. Seems like they had to close.
     
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