By Charlie Englar
Located at 254 Linden St., the newly opened Bizarre Bazaar is a vinyl record store, bookstore, video store, vintage poster store and community gathering spot. And it seems that this new artistic spread will meld into the Fort Collins fabric quite nicely.
Roughly two months ago, Scott Makerchuk and his wife Jane decided to pack up the two kids, the dog and a whole load of vinyl, books, DVDs, VHS tapes and vintage posters, and leave the “dying economy” of Syracuse, New York for greener pastures.
In the process of choosing a place to move the family business, Makerchuk said that Fort Collins kept popping up when “best cities to live in” searches were conducted.
“I want my kids to grow up in a community that, when they get older, inspires them to stay and not want to leave,” Makerchuk quipped.
Bizarre Bazaar opened on October 25, and Makerchuk said they have many plans in mind for the deceptively large space. He would love to convert the open back room into a type of lounge area, with tables, chairs and a small stage for live music. He also wants to turn the outdoor area adjacent to the “lounge area” into a café-type space with hanging string lights, tables and chairs and perhaps a mural or two on the alley walls. Furthermore, the husband and wife duo are in the process of making over the storefront, with an expanded front window currently under construction and plans to hang various old-time lanterns and signs to emit a yellow glow upon the walk of Linden St.
All of this, explained Makerchuk, will be accompanied by a coffee and tea bar, in addition to more inventory as it gets sorted and arrives from back East.
Bizarre Bazaar is also open to the buying of records and books from customers, which creates a core, rotating cycle of products.
“We really depend on the local population for our inventory (and success),” Makerchuk stated.
While strolling through the store with Makerchuck, chatting about various mediums and music technology – we had quite the insightful discussion about music file compression – there was one thing we kept coming back to: vinyl records.
Though the full plethora of vinyl is not yet displayed, it is easy to see that the Makerchucks have a deep reservoir of excellent albums to choose from. Hard-to-find rarities that are priced around $50 are mixed in with $10 gems. A “listening station” record player in the front corner of the store allows patrons to test the goods before purchase.
“We want people to come in and find something that they didn’t know they didn’t know about,” Makerchuck said.
It’s the idea that the tangible experience of thumbing through a bin of records with no expectations is something that cannot be matched – and it’s something that the Bizarre Bazaar is bringing back to Fort Collins.
While store hours are currently subject to change, feel free to stop by the Bizarre Bazaar at 254 Linden St. to see what it’s all about. Find out more at fortcollinsbazaar.com.