A Reconnaissance For Records

Exploring Old Market’s musical scene to find best record store in town


I glance at my phone. It’s 7:07 PM. I have to get home, tomorrow’s a school night! Still, I feel I’m missing something on my visit to my favorite spot in Omaha, the Old Market. 

My exhale in the frigid winter air clears to reveal a wide window covered in posters. I tentatively step toward the entrance, slowly creaking open the door, shivering slightly. The air of old records, incense, and worn wooden floorboards waft through my nose. 

As a friendly staff member welcomes me in, my eyes take in the sight of bright records stacked high, music posters stationed around the walls, and a colorful assortment of CDs. 

Homer’s Records brings a whole new feel to the art of record-collecting. As soon as you step into the upbeat, yellow-walled shop, you feel the switch from the winter wonderland outside to the immersive music and pop culture universe inside. 

Homer’s Old Market location has been open since 1971, but up until the 90s, you could visit multiple locales around the Omaha metro area. Today, Homer’s celebrates 52 years of business and continues their tradition of buying used vinyl and CDs from customers and collectors.

Most importantly, Homer’s provides an astonishing assortment of records, ranging in price depending on the artist and song’s popularity. From Drake to the Arctic Monkeys to the Beatles, Homer’s has something for everyone. 

In addition to vinyl, Homer’s sells CDs, cassette tapes, and small gifts such as magnets, bracelets, rings, tote bags, t-shirts, and movie and artist figurines.

After warming up in Homer’s, I started my trek to Vinyl Cup Records. This is another must-see spot if you’re a fan of more vintage records. It’s a smaller place, but just as charmingly friendly. With old-aesthetic brick walls and vinyl-holding crates, this parlor is perfect for a quick record pit stop. 

Vinyl Cup Records also has its back area connecting to Raygun, a clothing shop that sells brand t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets in all styles, adorable dog clothing, aprons, mugs, and more. I simply couldn’t walk out of there without purchasing something fun. I bought a mini magnet for a friend.

After these two visits, I was feeling hungry for two things: a quick bite and a last trip to Drastic Plastic, another hot spot in the Old Market area. The Drastic Plastic Vinyl Lounge is also a record store, found on the second floor of the Monster Club building. 

The Monster Club is a family-friendly pub with an eerie aesthetic.  The dimmed green lights shone over me as I giggled at the hilarious zombie, vampire, and Freddy Krueger statues when seating myself to munch on a basket of fries and sweet tea.

Once I was done eating, I hurried upstairs to check out Drastic Plastic. Similarly to Vinyl Cup Records, Drastic Plastic exhibited their vinyl in large black bins, but the feel of the establishment was much different. 

Outlining the perimeter of the lounge, lava lamps, record-shaped tables, and Christmas lights provided the lounge with a kaleidoscopic, cloudy vibe. I sifted through the record bins, humming the classic rock tune playing through the speakers. 

Drastic Plastic, along with the other three stores I visited, offered reasonable prices too. Sometimes when buying records on Amazon and other websites, they’re sold at an astoundingly high price. Homer’s, Vinyl Cup Records, and Drastic Plastic all present spectacular prices for the records they sell. 

After a while in Drastic Plastic and buying a new record, I knew it was time to head home. 

Ranking the three record shops I visited, I decided that Homer’s takes the first place prize. 

From the second I stepped into the whimsical shop, my senses felt alive. I’ve been record-collecting since quarantine began and Homer’s reinstalls the initial excitement and curiosity many feel about records.

Overall, whether you’re into vinyl CDs, cassettes, movies, Funko Pops, or all of the above, Homer’s had the best variety of music and gifts and the most delicate, “homiest” aura to it. 

All the shops I visited undoubtedly scratched the record-seeking itch I’d been sensing for a while. I would recommend all of these places to someone looking for a unique, exciting night in downtown Omaha.