Blast to the Past

A Miracle Mile Retro Shop

By Grace Carricarte

December 2019

The Gables Records n Comics slogan – “Get back to yesterday” – is just what the store embodies. Owners (husband and wife) Waldo Rodriguez and Johanna Garcia have filled their store with classic toys in mint condition, vinyl LP records, cassettes, CDs, vintage comic books, old school lunch boxes, and movie posters. The shelves are bursting with an army of retro items, along with more modern Japanese anime and Korean pop music collectables. Prices range from $1 to $300.

The store grew out of the couple’s obsession with collecting items they discovered during their summer road trips, from obscure antique shops and dusty comic bookstores across the country. In 2015, perhaps due to good marital advice, they decided to open a shop instead of hoarding everything at home.

Both Garcia and Rodriguez are school teachers – she at Gables High, he at West Miami High – which explains why their shop does not open until 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. They describe their store as an extension of their classrooms. “When young people come in to see the merchandise, they also get to learn some pop – and perhaps political – history in the process,” explains Rodriguez. Says Garcia, “Older people can reminisce, and young people can learn about the past.”

Besides passing along lessons, the couple passes along kindness. Last year they became certified foster parents. This year alone the couple welcomed seven foster care children into their home. As Garcia puts it, “We both figured that if we have an extra room and they need a place to stay, then why would we keep that to ourselves?”

True to their retro roots, the couple decided against hosting an online version of their store after being bamboozled by their own attempts at making purchases via the internet. (The only time it worked in their favor was once when they somehow received an entire box of toilet golf kits – aka potty putters – which became a hit). Having only a physical presence, customers know exactly what they’re getting. You just have to find the store first. Think of it as a speakeasy of collectibles, a rare second floor store.

Gables Records n Comics
277 Miracle Mile, Suite #203 (above P. Pole Pizza)
Open: Tues. – Fri. 3:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Sat. 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.