Despite "Available" sign, Uptown Cheapo to remain open for now

UptownCheapo.jpg
Aaron Rupar
This building isn't quite as available as the sign might lead you to believe.
Selling antiquated products in an antiquated building next to a multi-floor, mixed-use redevelopment project that's still under construction, the presence of an "Available" sign on the exterior of Cheapo's Uptown location prompted some to believe the iconic record store wasn't long for its rapidly gentrifying environs.

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But manager John Wurm told City Pages the record store will remain alive and kicking, at least for a few more months.

"Our [15 year] lease was ending this month, but we renewed it through February of next year," Wurm said, citing a conversation with Cheapo's owner. "They're still going to try and actively lease it out but they haven't found anybody so they renewed with us. It's an ongoing deal"

Wurm, for his part, doesn't think it's a foregone conclusion that the building's owners will find a more lucrative lessee -- "This place is giant, so I don't know what somebody would lease it for," he said -- but a more realistic scenario might involve the property being redeveloped into something higher density along the lines of the properties adjacent to Cheapo on both the east and west.

As for Booksmart, the book store that fled its old Hennepin Avenue digs for the Cheapo basement's buildings in the summer of 2011 following a rent increase, Wurm characterized the two stores as a package deal.

"If we're out they're out -- if we're here they're here," he said.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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14 comments
aztalanturf
aztalanturf

Well this is a huge bummer. I am on the street team for Kilted Farmer Koncerts, who book shows in the darker electronic genres, and I am at Cheapo a lot to post new flyers or check on existing flyers. Pretty much every time I go there, I end up with one or more CDs and once in a while, vinyl or a movie. One of the most recent times I was there, I found a pretty rare Garbage 12" in the vinyl section and it made my week. I hope they stick around at this location. They'll be hard pressed to find a location as large anywhere within the city. 

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

Tower records making a comeback maybe?

Microphone Skerschman
Microphone Skerschman

Uptown obviously needs more condos and less businesses for the people who are going to live in these said condos to shop at duh!!!!

redisciple
redisciple

Uptown is gentrifying? How does a rich neighborhood gentrify? Is it being colonized by the superrich? Is Uptown the new Lowry Hill?

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Pretty soon, all the real hipsters and artists will have moved to NE.

Rusty Mac
Rusty Mac

ICONIC!? HAHAHAHA! Good riddance!

Nicholas Rupar
Nicholas Rupar

This kind of thing happens mainly because of illegal and legal downloading, you want your local music shop to stay open buy some music there!

Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson

I would hate to see Cheapo goes since I have found countless gems in the used cd bins.

Peter Gokey
Peter Gokey

I tend to buy a lot of my music (that I don't download) on Amazon, but Cheapo is virtually the only store that I buy actual CDs at (in person). I'd miss this place.

Mandy Simpson
Mandy Simpson

Yeah, but does anybody really miss Cowboy Slim's?

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