With a new downport shop loaded with guitars and amps, Port Jeff is ready to rock!
West Lake Music at the Port opened at 208 East Main St. this month, a year after the brand’s first store opened in Patchogue.
With his first successful musical instrument store, co-owner Mike Watson and his partners set out to sell vintage and new electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, basses, effects pedals and all the essential accessories including a musician needs in Port Jefferson. It will also offer lessons for all beginners, as well as instrument repair services.
West Lake Music at the Port’s inventory includes several notable pieces, including a red 1985 Gibson Explorer, a vintage sunburst Ibanez double neck, and a mini Marshall stack.
On the shop’s first day of operation, Watson hosted several young musicians who played through Black Sabbath, Nirvana and other rock staples on eye-catching gear.
“As we were setting up, a lot of people stopped,” Watson said. “The daytime crowd is definitely families with kids and then the nighttime crowd gets a bit more rock and roll. We’ve had a good response from everyone about our presence here, so that’s promising.
art for sale
The new boutique is a slightly larger space than West Lake’s Patchogue presence. When planning the layout this time around, Watson considered something a little different, striving for a double exposure of guitar and art.
The new store features clothing and artwork from a variety of local artisans, including dye and local band t-shirts, as well as sheet music adorned with matching artwork, such as colorful Freddie Mercury at the top from “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a ship adorning “The” from Billy Joel. Downeaster ‘Alexa’.
Hanging along walls that aren’t entirely dominated by guitars, guests will find several paintings for sale with Mike Watson’s signature adorning their lower corners.
“I have been a painter for a long time. I just gave away most of my stuff to friends and family because they loved it,” he said. “Everyone has been encouraging me for a while to sell stuff, which has always been kind of a weird next step for me. I’ve always liked giving my stuff away. I’ve been enjoying it, but I’ll give it a shot.
Also up for grabs are photographs printed on canvas West Lake Partner Kristen McBrien takes photos when not working in West Lake or full-time as a registered nurse. She is happy to present her work to people, which is not so easy in the Patchogue shop.
“When we opened West Lake in Patchogue, I had some of my impressions, but we didn’t have room for them,” McBrien said. “My photos were very high, no one could ever really see them.”
Watson hopes to offer even more artwork from locals as he moves into his shop in Port Jefferson, which he previously said GreaterPortJeff may not be the last.
“We’re just going to try to develop this thing,” Watson said. “If all goes well here, we’ll be looking at maybe going to Riverhead next year…and maybe Babylon. I have big dreams, and we’re going to make them one step at a time.