Iconic Downtown Business Moves Out - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Iconic Downtown Business Moves Out

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There's a void on Broadway after an iconic business decided to call a new location home. Gruhn Guitars is celebrating the grand opening of its store on 8th Avenue South.

It's been decades since George Gruhn started over. 

"This is essentially a hobby that got out of hand," he said. "I started collecting guitars in 1963."

That love affair emerged into a successful business and Gruhn Guitars opened its doors in 1970 on lower Broadway.

"Originally the neighborhood was somewhat seedy and maybe even a little bit sleazy," he recalled. "But it was still the street that every visitor to Nashville stopped."

Over the years Gruhn Guitar became the go-to place to buy new and vintage guitars across the county.

"My customers range from Eric Clapton to Johnny Cash used to buy guitars from us. I've known Marty Stuart since he was 11 years old. I've known Vince Gill since he was 18."

The place on Fourth and Broadway where Gruhn made his mark started losing its appeal.

"I like to avoid downtown if I can," repeat customer Bobby Miller said. Miller travels from Madison, Alabama to shop at the store.

Gruhn's business was growing, while the space was not. Add to that hundreds of tourists each day who mainly dropped in only because they were in the area.

"So our sales staff was spending 90 percent of the time on crowd control and damage prevention," Gruhn said.

Last week, Gruhn closed its doors in downtown after 43 years. Now, they call 8th Avenue South home.

"I think it's fabulous, fabulous," customer Craig Corry said. "It's like walking into a candy store."

At the 8th Avenue location there's plenty of free parking and enough room to display even more instruments.

"We can give a higher level of customer service here," Gruhn added. "We want people to come through the door but we want them to come because they wanted to come here."

The move strikes a chord with loyal customers who say they can't wait to come back.

"I think his business will pick up out here because people like me," Miller said. "I'll come here more often now."

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