As school-age friends attending Columbus Academy, Sean Schultz and Evan McCullen shared a love of music and a dream.
"We always thought it would be cool to open our own record store," McCullen said. "We always talked about how fun it would be just hanging out and listening to music and getting to meet other people who were into music."
"I think anyone who loves music always dreams a little bit about owning a record store," Schultz said. "When I saw the movie Empire Records, that really did it for me."
Last fall, the dream became a reality when the pair opened Strange Loop Records at 1421 W. Third Ave. in the Grandview area.
"It's been everything we hoped it would be," McCullen said. "We're having a blast."
"I have a background in marketing and music composition and I was getting a little tired of doing office work," Schultz said. "I think we both wanted to do something for ourselves."
The owners, both 28, each live in the Gahanna area, but Schultz said he plans to move to Grandview in the near future.
The community is a perfect location for the record store, he said.
"I've always loved this area," Schultz said. "It's a great walkable community and close to the OSU campus."
The atmosphere at Strange Loop is designed to be relaxed and inviting. The store includes a lounge area where visitors are welcome to chill, chat and listen to music.
The store features both new and used vinyl -- "We have something for everybody. We aren't genre-specific," McCullen said -- as well as turntables, used instruments, vintage clothing and a gallery featuring the work of local artists.
Strange Loop also hosts monthly comedy showcases and concerts at least twice a month.
"Our concerts present everything from hardcore rock to simple acoustic music," McCullen said.
It wasn't too long ago that vinyl records and record stores were assumed to be going the way of dodo birds and rotary telephones.
That eulogy was given too soon, Schultz said.
"You fall in love with a record," he said. "There's something more personal about spinning a record than playing an MP3 player.
"Sure, you can find just about anything online, but it's always more fun and exciting to find something you've been looking for, or something you didn't know you were looking for, digging around a record store," Schultz said.
"A record is more special because it's something you can actually hold in your hand," McCullen said. "Record albums are like works of art."
Vinyl records began making their comeback about a decade ago, and over the last five years, "it's become a fast-growing part of the music business," Schultz said.
While CD sales have fallen, vinyl record sales are growing each year, he said.
"I think record stores and records will always be around because there will always be people who are passionate about music," Schultz said. "The big thing I worry about for record stores is the growth of drone delivery. That could be difficult for stores to compete with."
Strange Loop is open from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit strangeloopvinyl. com.