3017 W. Cary St.
Second Place: Deep Groove Records
Third Place: Steady Sounds
Music stalwart Plan 9 Music finally has left its old digs and moved across the street in Carytown where it hopes to stay for a long time to come. Owner Jim Bland says the new store is 1,000 square feet smaller, but is convenient to its loyal clientele while maintaining a 1960s milieu. Plan 9, which sells old and new CDs, also is benefiting from the retro surge from digital devices to vinyl records. "There's the quality thing about vinyl and there's a backlash against having to put a CD on a device and then you lose the device," Bland says. With an old-fashioned record, he says, customers "have something you can put your hands on," can read the notes, enjoy the art and still download it. That's also the formula at Deep Groove Records on North Robinson Street, and Steady Sounds on West Broad Street, both of which employ managers who are alumni of Plan 9.