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After a successful year Patchogue, West Lake Music is preparing to open a new guitar and art boutique in Port Jefferson.
“We’re doing okay over here in Patchogue, and we feel we can do even better over there in Port Jeff,” said Mike Watson, the longtime musician and artist who founded West Lake Music, along several partners. “We’ll be in a spot with a little better foot traffic, a little bigger summer crowd for us.
“Our little idea of a smaller, more of a boutique sort of shop seems to be working, in that people seem to be responding well to us,” he continued. “It’s a lot more of a personal approach than you’re going to get at the bigger box stores, the guitar centers and stuff.”
Watson said he hopes to open West Lake Music at the Port on July 1 at 208 East Main St. Once unveiled, customers and passersby can expect a boutique packed with vintage and new guitars, amps and other musical goodies.
“We’re going to have 200 effects pedals over there — at least,” Watson said. “I’ll have 60 guitars in here, I’ll have probably 50 amps. We’re going to pack it out.
While Watson said he’ll carry the newer model guitars, he noted he is trying to key on vintage gear.
A guitar and art gallery
Watson said people can expect more than just musical instruments.
“We’re going to hang up some local artists’ stuff on the walls,” he said. “I’m hoping to have a bit of a guitar-and-art gallery sort of situation. There will be a lot more apparel in there too, just so I have some more things for the people that are just walking by and browsing from out of town.”
Watson, a longtime painter who enjoys giving away his art, said the new shop provides him “a weird next step” to sell his own artwork.
“The stuff I had up in Patchogue all went, and people offered to buy it. But I would just give it away and everybody here would be yelling at me about giving everything away,” he said with a laugh. “And I’ll be looking around to (include) anyone else I know who has an artistic inclination and see what we can do.”
Among those with artistic abilities is fellow West Lake partner, Kristen McBrien, whose photography will also be available in the Port Jefferson shop for purchase.
The new music shop and art gallery, which will offer guitar lessons and repair, may not be Watson’s last.
“We’re just going to try to grow this thing,” Watson said. “If all goes well [in Port Jefferson], 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.”
Featured photo: File Image of guitars hanging in West Lake Music in Patchogue.