"Specs," a note posted to the recently closed Coral Gables music shop's front door read. "A piece of Miami, a piece of history, never to be forgotten, nor replaced! Especially by some lousy bank."
Consider that Spec's Records & Tapes' epitaph. Because the Dade County landmark -- a 64-year-old purveyor of music on vinyl, audiocassette, and CD -- has been demolished, as reported by the Miami Herald, to clear the lot at 1570 S. Dixie Highway for a new Chase Bank.
Founded by the now-deceased Martin Spector in 1948 (and moved to its longtime location in 1953), the Coral Gables store was the flagship of a Spec's chain that eventually grew to include dozens of locations across Florida.
By the late '80s, Spec's had gone public. It expanded to 42 stores. And the chain was even earning accolades from Forbes Magazine, being named among America's 200 best-run small companies in 1988.
Just ten years later, though, laboring after financial hits from Hurricane Andrew and languishing under fierce competitive pressure from other music superstore chains, Spector and company decided to get out of the "Records & Tapes" business.
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And so, as the digital music era was dawning, the chain was sold to Camelot Music Group. A few years later, Trans World Entertainment and its F.Y.E. brand took over.
Of course, like most of America's music shops, Spec's faced an almost inevitable fate. And in December, the store announced that it would be shutting its doors forever. Now, even the building and that famous sign are gone.