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Transistor Chicago Takes its Eclectic, Creative Offerings to Lakeview

By Serena Dai | July 19, 2013 6:54am
 Transistor Chicago, an eclectic shop and creative space, moved to 3441 N. Broadway in Lakeview from North Center earlier this month.
Transistor Chicago Lands in Lakeview
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LAKEVIEW — Creative types with a hankering for records, local artistry and art books can now find them in east Lakeview.

But Andy Miles, owner of Transistor Chicago, which just moved to 3441 N. Broadway from North Center, says the store also caters to more than just "hipsters in their late 20s."

"I like to say if someone comes in and buys the new Vampire Weekend record with his grandmother, his grandmother would have something to purchase as well," Miles said. "Or at least his mother."

The shop that doubles as a creative space for film screenings, live music acts and creative classes opened in Andersonville about four years ago, a project that combined the interest of Miles and his then-girlfriend Rani Woolpert.

Miles now runs the shop alone, with Woolpert acting as a consultant.

They moved to North Center two years ago due to problems with the Andersonville space, but the largely residential neighborhood had a taste for more “mainstream” items, Miles said — ignoring products on lesser-known topics such as a book on Sun Ra, an avant-garde jazz artist.

That, along with less foot traffic, pushed the store to move east. The new store, Miles said, is the best of all three with the grand trio of crowded streets, diverse neighbors and a good space.

Miles plans to continue the tradition of holding events in the store, including a screening Friday night of pieces by local filmmakers Group 312 Films. It starts at 7 p.m., is BYOB and is free, though donations to the artist are suggested.

Music genres from electronic to singer-songwriter to jazz to pop rock will grace the store, Miles said, and the store sells everything from books and handmade electronics to paintings and photography from local artists.

It’s all about keeping it diverse — and not just for the hipsters. 

“It’s always important to us to appeal to a wide set,” he said.