South Side record store owner struggling to keep store open while facing cancer battle

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A South Side record store is struggling to stay open, but that’s not the only fight the owner is facing.

Flip Side Record Parlor has been a well-known music staple on the South Side since 1972.

Owner Clarissa Pena worked at the store since 1993 since she was just 20 years old and has owned the business since 2011.

“It would be hard to drive down Southwest Military Drive and not see Flip Side for a lot of people, as well as myself,” Pena said. “Everything about this store, it is just very nostalgic and it is home.”

In the 25 years Pena has been at the store, she’s seen it struggle financially. She believes it’s due to the advanced technology of MP3 downloads and other modern ways to listen to music.

Pena was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, making it even more of a struggle on her checkbook.

“Having to pay my medical bills and just going through some other issues personally that hurt my financial situation, it really took a toll on me as well as my business,” she said.

Pena is hoping a benefit will keep the business above water while she undergoes medical treatment.

“Flip Side is a South Side landmark. I have heard it all. It is historical, and that is what drives me to keep going,” she said.

The benefit will be held at noon Saturday at the store on Southwest Military Drive. There will be food, art vendors, a band and more festivities to help raise money for the store.

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