Aidin Vaziri | Business is booming at Rooky Ricardo’s Records. On a recent dark, drizzly evening when it looks like the rest of the Lower Haight neighborhood is deserted, a steady stream of customers ducks into the cozy little vinyl emporium overseen by doting owner Dick Vivian.
The shop, which has the look and feel of a 1950s apothecary, complete with rotary phones and a retro laminate dining table, has long served as a neighborhood hangout.
In the past few years, renewed interest in vinyl records – a format of music that was once declared dead and gone – has made Rooky Ricardo’s a must-visit destination for audiophiles from around the world.
“I grew up listening to old-school rock,” says Benezra Tegis, a San Francisco native who is one of Vivian’s regulars. “When you come back to the sound of the needle hitting the groove it’s inexplicable. It’s so much better than an MP3.”
He’s not the only one who feels that way.