Even if it still looks a little greasy to some, Grand Avenue near downtown just keeps getting better and better, what with the addition of Grand Avenue Pizza and the recently renovated ThirdSpace restaurant and bar. Soon to join the many quirky galleries and mechanic shops is Allred Guitars & Guitar Repair, opening right behind Bragg's Pie Factory (facing McKinley) at 1301 Grand Aveune, Suite 7.
The new shop will be hosting a grand opening on this coming First Friday, September 5, from 6 to 10 p.m. There'll be refreshments and maybe even some live music. RSVP here.
Given that great venues like The Trunk Space, Lost Leaf, and Crescent Ballroom are just a stone's throw away, this is excellent (dare we say grand?) news for local musicians who wish to avoid corporate conglomerate cesspools like Guitar Center. Offering full-service guitar repair and even custom guitar projects (that double-head six-string in the shape of a demonic pig you've always dreamed of might soon be a reality!), Allred promises "friendly, affordable service."
It's a welcome addition to a neighborhood that boasts downtown Phoenix staples such as Bikini Lounge and Rodriguez Boxing Club, but with so many deserted lots in a still somewhat scuzzy area (that's its charm!), Grand Avenue still isn't most folks' first choice for art and culture. Luckily, we're seeing that change rapidly, especially as Roosevelt Row threatens to become more gentrified, pushing affordable real estate for artists and musicians farther west.
The store is owned and operated by The Haymarket Squares' slide-guitar player, Mark Allred (hence the name). Allred is a certified luthier and graduate of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, which, founded in 1975, is also located on Grand Avenue. If you didn't know, luthiery is the almost forgotten art of string instrument repair.
Troy Farah can be followed on Twitter.
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