The sun pours into WolfWax Culture from the floor-to-ceiling windows that curve with the building. A Prairie Ramblers record plays for what is likely the first time in decades. The scratches and skips of the record do not bother patrons — it’s what brings the shop to life.
Simple white shelves are all that the shop really needs — a place for Gainesville residents to browse through the eclectic merchandise, like comic books and records, that WolfWax Culture has spent years acquiring.
Located at 101 N. Main St., WolfWax Culture is on the second floor of the corner building where Gifthorse used to be.
The store is testing out a soft opening with hours from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Mondays. WolfWax Culture won’t have its official opening until late October.
Joe Wolf and his friend Bobby Harper own the store, which mainly sells comic books and records. Their merchandise varies greatly and includes retro boomboxes, concert T-shirts, nonfiction books, magazines and record players.
“I’ve got so many old magazines and things,” Wolf said. “Why not pass along the things we love to someone who is going to find this gem they would have never known about?”
Wolf, 45, is a Gainesville Regional Utilities worker, Grow Radio volunteer, UF alumnus and self-proclaimed music addict.
WolfWax Culture shares its location with the also recently opened Arrow’s Aim Records. The two stores are split between two levels — WolfWax on the second floor and Arrow’s Aim on the first.
Though completely separate businesses, the two hope to share customers.
“Only in Gainesville could a place like this happen. We share our space and our customers,” Wolf said.
Arrow’s Aim owner, Daniel Halal, agreed that most record-shop-goers would most likely be interested in comic books as well.
Halal approached Wolf about sharing the space after he saw it had become available in August.
“I’ve always loved this building,” he said. “I love this corner of the street, so I rented it.”
The building features curved walls, an old narrow wooden staircase and just the right amount of charm.
Linguistics and Russian junior Helen D’Avanza, 20, stumbled upon the shop while she was walking through downtown.
“They might do well in the wake of Wayward Council shutting down,” D’Avanza said. “It provides a healthy competition for other record and book stores. Just something different from the norm.”
D’Avanza said she will frequent WolfWax Culture for their unique merchandise.
“I’ve appreciated what goes on in our community and now to contribute to it, it’s very exciting,” Wolf said.