The storefront and sign of Let's Boogie Records & Tapes
Let’s Boogie Records & Tapes in 2017 Credit: Alison Green for Chicago Reader

Let’s Boogie Records & Tapes (3321 S. Halsted) is a time machine to a different era. Bridgeport and Pilsen have no shortage of outlets for serious crate diggers (shout-out to 606 Records), but Let’s Boogie has been around longer than any other shop in the area—Neal S. Keller opened it in the mid-70s—and it has the ambience to match. These days it’s open only one day per week (Saturdays from 11 AM till 6 PM), so it’s definitely a labor of love—a place where music enthusiasts can experience classic dad-rock record-store vibes without paternalism or condescension. The store is plastered with posters that look like they haven’t moved since the 80s, and it smells historic. But it’s run by the friendliest people, and they’re always excited to talk all things music and Chicago.

Not only does Let’s Boogie offer an eclectic mix of local ephemera—Harold Washington campaign buttons, deadstock T-shirts for radio stations that no longer exist—but it also sells its collectibles at great prices. If you’re any kind of concert-tee hunter, you know that the market has gotten insane. A couple months back, I saw a 1988 Lita Ford shirt selling for almost $200 at a Village Discount Outlet. At Let’s Boogie? I got an original Van Halen shirt, I’d guess from the “Jump” era, for $20. Their selection is extremely hit-or-miss, especially for vinyl, but it changes constantly. For the warm welcome and the thrill of the hunt, Let’s Boogie is one of my favorite Bridgeport spots.

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