I often find that the places that draw me in don’t have to necessarily put a lot of effort into purposely wooing me. More often than not, getting treated as an “old friend” who hasn’t been seen in a while is what seduces me into frequenting a particular establishment.
That’s what happened to me when I stumbled across Heyday Guitars one night while on assignment in Winston-Salem.
I was at a coffee shop within walking distance of the Burke Street guitar shop and I noticed several people hanging around outside. While I was unsure what type of establishment had drawn the small crowd, I was hell-bent on exploring the source of activity and occasional sounds of live guitar playing.
I made a mental note to check out what was going on after I’d handled my business.
An hour or so later, my kid and I floated over to the rocking establishment to quench my inquisitive nature. I soon found out that the name of the place was Heyday Guitars. Heyday, a vintage guitar and amp resale store, offers onsite guitar repair, specializes in the unique and obscure of the music world and occasionally holds a guitar workshop for the community.
When the kid and I walked up to the doors, two guys were sitting over to the left of the entrance welcoming us with huge smiles on their faces that made me rack my brain to recall if I had met them before. They waved us in and gave us these smiling nods like they had been expecting our arrival all night long. At the entrance, additional visitors were standing by the door rocking out to music seeping from inside of the shop.
Everyone we seemed to encounter as we walked in projected that “It’s been a while since we have seen you” vibe.
When you first walk into the store you will quickly figure out that Heyday is a hodgepodge of things. Rows of beautiful vintage guitars hang along the wall, such as a 1959 Harmony Stratotone H-54, 2005 Gibson Les Paul Classic, ‘80s Tokai Custom Edition Telecaster, 1959 Gibson LG-1 and a 1967 Fender Mustang bass.
There are a couple rows of benches in the middle of the floor for people to sit and visit or test out a slightly used axe.
The shop doubles as a gallery, with work from local artists adorning the walls, including Kat Lamp. Throw in the retro-framed vinyl on the wall and the random pop-ups from such greats as punk rock musician Sonny Vincent and you have the makings of a living gallery that has found a way to chronicle some of the most important movements of music through original working relics.
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