Biz Beat

Modesto’s old Babies R Us gets a new, rocking tenant as Rasputin Music to move in

Tamara Walski looks at vinyl records at Rasputin Music in Modesto, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
Tamara Walski looks at vinyl records at Rasputin Music in Modesto, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.

So much for music stores all dying out. But then I guess when you’re named after one of history’s most infamous mystics, the rules simply don’t apply.

The Rasputin Music store in north Modesto is moving to a new, much larger location. It will take over the vacant Babies R Us site on Sisk Road, in the process filling one of the large retail vacancies left from recent national chain store closures.

The music and DVD store opened on Dale Road, two doors down from Trader Joe’s, in late 2014. Since then, the store has sold new and used CDS, vinyl records, DVDs and other related merchandise. The new site will be a combination Rasputin and Anastasia New & Vintage Clothing store, bringing a large selection of new and used apparel into the mix.

The partnering of the two stores (with their decidedly Russian monarchy-themed names) is a new concept for Rasputin founder and longtime owner Ken Sarachan, who also owns the one current Anastasia store on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. The shop is about a block away from the original and existing Rasputin store in Berkeley.

Rasputin Music in Modesto, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Andy Alfaro

Rasputin is the largest independent record store in the Bay Area, starting with the Telegraph Avenue site in 1971 and expanding to more than half a dozen stores between San Francisco, Fresno and Stockton.

The Modesto store has fliers posted looking for new employees to staff a “giant” new location. Modesto Rasputin Manager Amber Rowe said the new site is about quadruple the size of the existing store.

“This will be a new concept store, with used and new clothing and accessories, shoes, along with more of the same we always sell at Rasputin,” Rowe said. “Eventually, there are going to be more (combination Rasputin/Anastasia stores), but this is the first concept.”

Music t-shirts at Rasputin Music in Modesto, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Andy Alfaro

Rowe said they plan to hire employees for the Anastasia side, in particular. She said they’re looking for applicants with past experience in retail apparel as well as people with knowledge of vintage clothing who have worked at other stores like Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading. A mix of part-time, full-time and management positions is available, ranging in pay from $15 to $25 an hour.

To apply, send a cover letter and resume to

The move will fill the former Babies R Us store site on Sisk Road, next to Vintage Faire Mall, which was closed when parent company Toys R Us shuttered the iconic company last year. The Toys R Us site a little farther south on Sisk Road is still vacant.

Future site of Rasputin Music and Anastasia New & Vintage Clothing store in Modesto, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Andy Alfaro

Rowe said that while the store had originally hoped to complete the move by February, now the transition date is up in the air. She said they either have to be finished with the move before April 13 of this year, which is Record Store Day, or it will happen after. The day is one of the biggest business days for the store. For more information, visit

Elsewhere on the Business Beat:

Get your car the equivalent of a mani-pedi and cool new shades with the opening of the new Ceramic Garage auto spa in north Modesto.

The auto spa specializes in high-end vehicle detailing and protective services. They are the exclusive local dealer for Ceramic Pro, a protective ceramic coating for vehicle paint. They are also one of the only official dealers for Llumar SelectPro Formula One Window Tint in the region.

Owner Robert Youanis has been in the automotive business for more than 15 years. His family has owned Quality Auto Glass Tint in Salida since 2014.

“We’re bringing something to the Valley no one has brought before,” he said. “A lot of bigger cities have those dealers because they’re high-end products.”

A free, catered ribbon-cutting celebration will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, March 1, at the garage site. Food will be provided by the Mexican seafood truck Sinaloense, which was opened by Youanis’s sister last year.

Ceramic Garage, at 500 Glass Lane Suites C-3 D-4, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday. For more information, call 209-718-7000 or visit

Marijke Rowland: 209-578-2284, @marijkerowland

Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs midweek and Sundays. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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