Owner, Record Shop
Jul 13, 2021
Bene Coopersmith never really intended to open a record store, which is maybe why he never got around to giving it an actual name. It’s just called … Record Shop. Coopersmith, a carpenter by trade, opened the store in 2015 when he realized he risked getting crushed by his own personal vinyl stacks, hoarder-style. The Van Brunt Street shop in Red Hook is as charmingly oddball as he (and the surrounding enclave) is. It is also Red Hook’s only source for vinyl.
In warmer seasons, like now, you can usually find the beatific Coopersmith lounging unpretentiously on the sidewalk out front with friends, passersby, collectors and neighborhood weirdos. A DJ booth in the window provides the tunes. The record selection itself is eclectic and informed (don’t be surprised to find yourself rubbing elbows with hardcore diggers like Large Professor or Omar-S). But the prices are surprisingly reasonable for the occasionally grippy New York record store scene. Before the pandemic, the shop would host live music and serve as a practice space for local musicians.
What makes Coopersmith extra compelling is his acting side gig. This charismatically laid back dude with a wonky eye is sometimes a movie star. Well, “star” may be a stretch, but among his three film credits is a role in the 2017 film “Person to Person,” in which he plays an exaggerated version of himself alongside Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson and Abbi Jacobson.