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Oakland couple opens Bay Area's first listening bar dedicated to vinyl records

East Bay couple spins up fellowship at vinyl listening lounge
East Bay couple spins up fellowship at vinyl listening lounge 03:07

OAKLAND (KPIX) -- An Oakland couple walked away from jobs in the tech industry to open the Bay Area's first HiFi listening bar dedicated playing full-length vinyl records -- Bar Shiru.

"For us here, it's really about kind of giving into the experience of the album," says co-owner Daniel Gahr.

Gahr co-owns Bar Shiru which borrows its name from his wife Shirin's childhood nickname. Shirin, who worked as an attorney for YouTube, says the bar offers a sense of connection and community that frankly was often missing from their lives in the tech industry.

"I think nothing can really replicate human connection and in-person interaction," says co-owner Shirin Raza.

Raza says the bar has its own culture and unofficial code of conduct that revolves around respect for music and not interfering with others experience of that. Customers are asked to talk quietly enough so that their voices don't compete with the playlist which is curated by Daniel.

"It feels like it envelops you -- almost like you're in a live music setting," Shirin says.

Daniel and Shirin opened Bar Shiru in Oakland in 2019. Previously, Daniel worked for Pandora and Shirin for Youtube. And while they value their work in tech -- in popularizing digital music and streaming services -- Bar Shiru was by design a decidedly analogue affair.

"We want to create meaningful and lasting experiences with real people in a real space as opposed to our previous lives in tech," says Daniel.

The bar survived the pandemic and Daniel and Shirin are looking forward more and more people feeling comfortable enjoying music and each other in person.

"Honestly, I could entertain every single day if you asked me to," says Shirin.

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