How did the idea come about to introduce music into the 17th Street Market?
The idea is that the store brings together a lot of different nationalities just by the nature of the food that we sell. ... So, with all of these people coming in here, and the fact that there are a lot of musicians in the store as well, we decided that it would be really nice to bring guitars in and to bring instruments from the parts of the world that these people who come in would relate to--things that they may have seen, or not seen since their childhood. And for us, it's interesting, because we have a musical consciousness, and we want to share that. If we can bring that into the neighborhood, I think that's a good thing, for making instruments--that people may not see all the time--accessible.
Where in the market will the music shop be located?
In the rear of the store, as you walk in, we have a whole entire area designated that we just built. You go into the back of the store, and the guitars will be hanging on the walls, and also in front of the store itself--in front of the guitar shop--will be world instruments hanging up, sitting on pedestals. So, as you enter into the rear of the store, you'll be met with world instruments, and then a guitar shop in the back.
How do people purchase instruments? Will they go through the normal checkout?
Mark (Neville) tells me it'll be normal checkout. You'll get your instruments and just check them out at the checkout counter.
And what is Mark's affiliation with this project?
Mark will be in the store and throughout the whole music area. He's the manager of the store, and he'll help people with their needs and their questions.
Will there be a practice space for those looking to test-drive their instruments?
Yes, to some extent. What we don't want to do is get into a lot of amplifiers on at the same time. So, basically there will be--in the guitar shop--a place where you can go and check out the instruments. There will be kind of sample instruments for people to play, and anybody who's interested can then purchase (them).
Roughly how many instruments will the store have available?
We've got about 20 guitars, and there are three or four different lines of guitar, from beginner guitars to guitars for kids, and some really nice, affordable instruments. There will also be strings, metronomes, tuners, capos and some backpack guitars.
And there'll be amps, too?
The only amplifiers we're going to have will be in the intro packs, which will be guitars and (an) amp all together. But we're not actually going into bringing in big Fender amps or anything like that. Not at this time, at least.
Can you give a brief rundown of the instruments' nationalities?
There'll be Pakistani stuff, Moroccan stuff, West African drums and also some Asian instruments ... but we don't know exactly what that is yet.
When will it be open?
We're shooting for Oct. 1
What about live music in the store?
That definitely will be happening. We're going to try and do a concert series on Saturdays.
And do you have any plans on playing in the store?
Oh, I'm sure. Myself, (store owner) Tom (Kusian), Mark--Mark's a guitar player and singer, as well--all play, so I'm sure we'll get our licks in there.