What the hell is this place? Disco City #8 (or maybe #7) | What the hell is this place? | Chicago Reader

What the hell is this place? Disco City #8 (or maybe #7) 

Logan Square's Disco City appears to have an identity crisis—but it knows exactly what it's doing.

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Disco City sells music, sure, but what's up with its contrasting signs?

Disco City sells music, sure, but what's up with its contrasting signs?

Andrea Bauer

It's not a mystery what Disco City is. "Records. Tapes. Video." Says it right on the sign, under an illustration of five anthropomorphized record albums in white shoes and oversize gloves serenading the street below. The enduring mystery is why the hell the store has two signs, one that calls it Disco City #8 and another, inches away, that claims Disco City #7. To further complicate matters, Yelp lists it as Disco City #6.

Why the identity crisis? A very nice, very tall employee named Robert says there used to be "nine or ten" Disco City stores throughout Chicagoland, but they slowly shuttered. Rather than chuck a perfectly good sign when #7 closed, the guy who owned both stores slapped it up on #8, effectively confusing passersby for years to come.

Inside: Lots of Latin music. Cuban jazz. Spanish rock. A section of CDs simply entitled "Mexico." They also sell DVDs and instruments and dangly knickknacks to hang from rearview mirrors.

According to Robert, having a niche has worked. The store's been in business in Logan Square since '76, and it's survived the simultaneous declines of the music industry and small business. Robert says that's because "places like Best Buy don't sell Latin music." Sadly, it's the only Disco City location that's still open—so #6, #7, and #8 are all basically accurate at this point.


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