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You could say that Alexis Bouteville, owner of Hyde Park Records, discovered Chicago by way
of Paris. Alexis had a record store in his native France and was going on frequent buying trips
in the United States to keep the store stocked. Chicago always had the best selection of unique
vinyl, and it wasn’t long before he fell in love with Hyde Park and the whole South Side area.

In 2011, Alexis took over the existing Hyde Park
neighborhood record store that had been there since
the 1970s – Second Hand Tunes – and renamed
it as Hyde Park Records. Located at 1377 E. 53rd
Street, the store is always listed as one of the best
independent record stores in the city. Thrillist referred
to it as “…everything a neighborhood record shop
should be. With live DJs, a chummy community vibe,
and a bangin’ selection of wax never short on hip
hop or international flair, there’s always something
happening at this crate digger’s paradise… If anyone
tries to tell you all record stores are the same, a visit
here provides for an unimpeachable rebuttal.” Alexis
explains that Hyde Park Records “… specializes a lot in
older music and vinyl, and especially R&B, blues, and
jazz. We also sell a lot of tapes so everything vintage is
really coming back.” The store also buys used records,
and on any day you can see Alexis expertly (and very
quickly!) flipping through collections to find the rare
records he knows his customers want, as the owners
look on hopefully.

<em>DJ Ayana Contreras</em>
DJ Ayana Contreras

A recent Chicago Reader article noted that local
rapper Vic Mensa counts Hyde Park Records as one
of his favorite neighborhood hangouts
from when
he was a young kid. He started coming to the store
when he was just 11 or so and it “…helped (him)
develop his diverse musical taste.” And Mensa is
not the only one. Hyde Park Records is more than
just a record store – it’s an important part of the
neighborhood, ingrained in so many music lovers’
lives. Alexis says, “The store is also a great place
for people to meet…to talk and share about music,
musicians, DJs, (and) producers – people need a
place like this. The community interaction aspect
is one of his favorite parts of being a small business
owner in the neighborhood, and Alexis adds, ”To go
further south is different, further west is different,
further north is different. (Hyde Park) is really a little
town within Chicago.”

<em>DJ Mustafa Rocks</em>
DJ Mustafa Rocks

It’s not uncommon to find customers making buying
trips from as far away as Europe and Japan. Wellknown
hip hop producers DJ Spinna, Pete Rock, and
Large Pro are regular customers from New York, as
well as DJ QBert from San Francisco.

The store is a part of major local events such as
the recent Silver Room Sound System Block Party,
held on July 21, hosting Mr. JayToo, DJ Marbll,
Erica Kane, Brian Reaves, James Vincent, and DJ
Mikey Mike. WGFM’s annual Soul Reunion takes
place every spring and summer, and the store hosts
a monthly “All Vinyl Series” with visiting DJs. In
addition to records, Hyde Park Records stocks CDs,
DVDs, books, and vintage Ebony and Jet issues.

1377 E. 53rd Street

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