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Purple Llama Coffee & Records Debuts in Chicago

Will Speros • September 7, 2017

Photography by Tom Harris

Coffee shop and record store hybrid Purple Llama Coffee & Records has arrived in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Its debut makes it the sixth record store in the neighborhood, which has earned the nickname the Vinyl District.

Designed by locally based firm Wheeler Kearns Architects in collaboration with brand designer Brian W. Jones, the 25-seat café concept is crafted with an angular form derived from the purple branding of the company. The concept’s namesake is honored in a cartoon mural that depicts both mountaintop llamas and the Chicago skyline. A main service bar made from faceted, ferrous steel anchors the 1,000-square-foot space, while a flowing, wooden wall guides visitors from the entrance to the record vault in the back of the store. Outfitted with a traditional back bar storage for equipment, the corner hosts up to 50 records for sale at a time.