Dave's Guitars rocks online sales during pandemic, but staff misses "shop talk"
For many people, music is essential during a time of pandemic, so business has been strong at Dave's Guitar Shop thanks to curbside pickup and online sales.
Dave's moved from Howell Avenue in Bay View to its new location, 914 S. 5th St. last fall. However, the hand-painted sign was very recently finished and hung on the facade, finally drawing well-deserved attention to a business that moved and reopened right before a world pandemic.
But Dave's Guitar Shop goes further back than its Howell Avenue days. In the 1970s, according to employee Ben Koshick, Dave Rogers sold guitars out of his home in Lacrosse. In 1982, he rented a vacant dental office and in 1993 moved to a showroom that spans a Lacrosse city block and has been called the "mecca of the midwest" for guitar players. The Lacrosse shop remains open today and there is also a Dave's in Madison.
In 2017, longtime guitar tech for Dave's guitar shop, Phil Kirst, moved to Milwaukee and opened the Bay View store and then recently moved it to 5th Street. Initially, the business was strictly a repair shop, but now also sells guitars and accessories.
"We sell anything from electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, amplifiers and many other things," says Koshick. "We also do instrument repairs and will soon offer guitar lessons depending on the pandemic."
Dave's is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shop is closed on Sundays.
"One of the prerequisites for working at Dave's is a passion for music and guitar. Everyone who works at Dave's in some way or another is musically inclined, and by no surprise, is generally a guitar player," says Koshick.
Koshick says although they have been fortunate during COVID-19 and able to safely continue selling their instruments, they miss the in-person contact with their music-minded customers and hope to open the showroom / retail space soon.
"Part of guitar culture, in general, is browsing showrooms and 'talking shop.' When the showroom was open, we would hear stories from customers almost daily about gear they used to own or cool trades they did to acquire pieces in their respective collections, and while we still do hear those stories, it's not the same," says Koshick. "Hopefully soon we can open the showroom again, but public safety is paramount for us."
Go here or call (608) 790-9816 for more info about Dave's Guitar Shop.
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