Guitars of Western New York…the penultimate shop on our little guitar shopping junket…House Of Guitars, Rochester NY!
I have only one post from this store…but not for lack of “stuff” to photograph there.
This may be the most interesting, weird, packed-to-the-rafters guitar shop I have ever set foot in. They have literally HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of guitars for sale!
To house (no pun intended!) them all, they can’t use the conventional racks and stands that one would see at “regular” guitar shops - there just isn’t enough space, even though it’s quite a large store. They instead use glass-fronted display cases - like you might see in a jewelry store - and the guitars are placed inside each case, standing up straight, and turned at 90 degrees to the viewer…so looking into the case, you see only the sides of each instrument. Turned sideways like this, they can then stuff 10 or 15 guitars (maybe even more) inside, with the strings of each guitar touching the back of the guitar infront of it. There are 2 of these display cases stacked on top of each other, 6 or 8 (i.e. 12 or 16 if you consider they are double-stacked) down the side of each aisle, AND there are 6 or 8 aisles! On top of all this (literally!) they also have dozens and dozens more vintage/collectible/expensive guitars on conventional stands ON TOP of these display cases (see what I mean in photo #2 and 5)!
The net result: House of Guitars is maybe the most interesting and certainly unique guitar shops I have ever visited! Sadly though, because it is so cramped and the guitars are so squeezed together in the cases, and the aisles only a couple of feet wide….it’s just not possible to get many good photos. So all I have from this incredible place it what you see above.
Some interesting highlights:
I have desired one of the Gibson Custom Reissue Epiphone Wilshires for a couple of years but they were such a limited run I never see them come up for sale anywhere. These guys had TWO of them! Too bad I’m broke at the moment… :(
The back of the shop had a raised stage-like platform that was piled high with amps (see photo #5)
They also had piles of amps running down the hallways at the back of the store! See photo #6.
“I grew up in London and have lived in Milan, Paris, Madrid, Munich and Los Angeles but only in New York did I find a city where the best elements from all these cities come together in perfect harmony. It’s less of a salad bowl of cultures, but a soup bowl where the ingredients truly blend. We wanted to have a stimulating, worldly and inspiring community around our kids to help turn them into global citizens. All that, plus artists, activists and academics from around the world, the best slice of pizza, and the convenience of indoor and outdoor play year-round, and quite frankly—why would you live anywhere else?” - Nigel Barker, host of Oxygen’s The Face
”New York City is a great place to raise kids because they grow up independent, cultured and confident. I love that there are also so many ethnicities in our little city, all living together. It teaches us to be open-minded and tolerant.” - Padma Lakshimi, author and host of Top Chef
”There’s instant access to art. You can wake up on a Sunday morning with no clue and within minutes be looking at an insane installation by an artist from Shanghai. There’s also tons of takeout, I have Greek, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and about 8 types of pizzas at my convenience.” - Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot and The Bump