After 65 years, song over for River North record store

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Jazz is, by definition, unpredictable – just like the music industry. But for the folks at the Jazz Record Mart, that unpredictability isn’t always a good thing.

Owner Bob Koester is getting ready to close up shop after six decades of slinging sweet-sounding vinyls. And for this downtown record store, the days are numbered and the final notes are just moments away from being played.

Just days after FOX 32 News spoke with Bob Koester, a deal was reached for someone to buy his inventory – and that was that.

65 years of smooth jazz, popping on the vinyl – a decade spent in this River North store – and just like that, the song is over.

The sound that replaces it is the one of a landlord nearly doubling his rent last year.

And the silence that follows is the front door not opening as often as it used to.

Koester knows what he’s talking about, not only as the owner of a record store, but as a man who’s led an independent jazz label and was inducted into the blues hall of fame in the 1990s.

But as he prepares to close up shop, it’s not the music he’ll miss the most.

It’s something else.

Before the deal was struck to sell his inventory, Koester told us that he had planned on moving the store to a different location. And while the deal is still being worked out, it’s a plan that now seems unlikely.

Because if the rows of vinyls within jazz record mart have taught us anything, it’s that even the best songs come to an end, leaving you to just hum the notes to yourself and hope to hear them again somewhere down the road. 


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