Moving the music off Broadway

Saratoga Guitar is stepping off Broadway after more than 16 years and heading to the city’s West Side, where cheaper rents, more parking and more retail space await.

Owner Matt McCabe says he loves his storefront on Broadway, but a combination of factors, including the rising cost of doing business there and the inconvenience of parking on the main drag, has given him good reason to move.

Another good reason is that the demand for music lessons and repairs keeps growing, McCabe said.

“We’ll pay less rent on the West Side and that’s a welcome thing, but we’re tripping over ourselves in our current spot, that’s been the primary thing,” he said.

The new location, at 60 West Ave., Suite 4, next to Treasures consignment shop, will double Saratoga Guitar’s current space and provide extra lesson rooms. And there’s the parking lot, of course.

“If your customers can’t get to you (because of a lack of parking), you can’t pay the rent whether it goes up or down,” McCabe said. “Parents of the students are elated about our moving so they have easier access to the shop for lessons.”

Renovations will start in October and a move-in date is planned for November. But Saratoga Guitar will remain open at 438 Broadway until the end of the year, when McCabe’s lease expires.

However, Saratoga Guitar will continue to have a downtown presence. McCabe said he will set up a small shop in his original location at 8 Caroline St., which he’s maintained as a storage and studio space since opening in June 1994.

He plans to man the Caroline Street shop, which will carry supplies, accessories and instruments. His chief technician, Ed Cox, will be in charge of operations at the new West Avenue store and lesson center, where one or two new employees could be added in 2011.

“We’re basically looking to expand the services, expand the space, expand the parking, everything except the expense,” McCabe said. “The area’s grown in the 16 years I’ve been in business. There’s been a rise in interest in lessons and in music in general, so we’re trying to meet those needs.”

For more information, call 581-1604.


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