With a new downport boutique loaded with guitars and amps, Port Jeff is ready to rock!
West Lake Music at the Port opened at 208 East Main St. this month, one year after the brand’s first shop opened in Patchogue.
With his first musical instrument shop proving successful, co-owner Mike Watson and his partners decided to sell vintage and new electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, basses, effects pedals and all the essential accessories a musician needs in Port Jefferson. He will also offer lessons to all comers, as well as instrument repair services.
West Lake Music at the Port’s inventory includes several notable pieces, including a red 1985 Gibson Explorer, a vintage sunburst Ibanez double neck and a Marshall mini stack.
On the shop’s inaugural day in business, Watson greeted several young musicians who played through Black Sabbath, Nirvana and other rock essentials on some eye-catching gear.
“While we’ve been setting up, a lot of people have been stopping by,” Watson said. “The day crowd is definitely families with kids, and then the night crowd gets a little more rock and roll. We’ve been getting a good response from everybody about us being here, so that’s promising.”
Art for sale
The new shop is a slightly larger space than West Lake’s Patchogue presence. When planning the layout this time around, Watson envisioned something a little different, striving for a dual guitar and art exhibit.
The new shop offers apparel and artwork from various local craftspeople, including tie dye and local band t-shirts, as well as sheet music adorned with corresponding artwork, such as Freddie Mercury colored atop “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a ship adorning Billy Joel’s “The Downeaster ‘Alexa.'”
Hanging along walls not fully dominated by guitars, guests will find several paintings for sale with Mike Watson’s signature adorning their lower corners.
“I’ve been a painter a long time. Most of my stuff I just gave away to friends and family, as they liked them,” he said. “Everybody’s been encouraging me for a while to sell stuff, which has always been kind of a weird next step for me. I always liked giving my stuff away. That was pleasing to me, but I’m going to give this a shot.”
Also up for grabs are canvas-printed photographs West Lake partner Kristen McBrien snaps when she’s not working at West Lake or full-time as a registered nurse. She is excited to introduce people to her work, something not quite as easy in the Patchogue shop.
“When we opened West Lake in Patchogue, I had some of my prints, but we didn’t have any room for them,” McBrien said. “My pictures were very high up, nobody could ever really see them.”
Watson hopes to offer even more artwork from locals as he settles into his shop in Port Jefferson, which he previously told GreaterPortJeff may not be his last.
“We’re just going to try to grow this thing,” Watson said. “If all goes well here, we’re going to look to go to maybe Riverhead next year … and possibly Babylon. I have big dreams, and we’ll just take them one step at a time.”