WICHITA — A new guitar and amplifier shop is in the works next to the Donut Whole on East Douglas.
Curt Mitchell, Chris Glamann and Scott Kern plan to open Wichita Guitar Works on Aug. 1 at 1716 E. Douglas.
The three used to sell and service guitars and amplifiers at Glamann’s GMI Music and Sound. That store, which was on West Central, closed in 2000.
“We’ve always talked about when the time was right, we wanted to do something again,” Mitchell says. “It’s the business we all love.”
Several factors forced the other shop to close.
“At that time, the sale of musical instruments on the Internet began to be real strong,” Mitchell says. Also, he says competition from chain stores was a factor, as was construction along Central.
“We just had some trouble keeping it going.”
He doesn’t expect the same issues now.
“Just in the last couple of years we really felt like the time was right again,” Mitchell says.
He says the retail climate has changed, and shoppers now seek local stores with specialized merchandise and service.
“There’s a big movement right now with what’s called boutique guitar shops,” Mitchell says.
He says he and his partners plan to sells guitars that are “made by people, not made by machines.”
“You can’t walk into every shop in Wichita and see these kinds of instruments.”
For instance, Wichita Guitar Works will sell guitars made by Kentucky-based RS Guitarworks, which Mitchell describes as a small company that makes guitars influenced by models from the late 1950s and early 1960s “at the dawn of electric guitar.”
“We’re one of the first three dealers nationwide.”
The store will be in 1,800 square feet. Leon Moeder of Moeder & Associates handled the lease. He and his wife, Susan, and Raleigh and Rhandalee Hinman own the building. They do business as Mosbacher Place Properties.
The guitar shop will be in the former Jaded Pearl Lounge space where the Donut Whole previously sold tea.
“Expanding to another room just caused confusion,” says Angela Mallory, who owns the Donut Whole with Michael Carmody.
She says tea sales have increased since they moved to the other side of the business.
“Everybody can get everything right there.”
Mitchell says the Donut Whole is part of the inspiration for Wichita Guitar Works opening next door.
“It’s just been amazing watching that as it’s grown into the business it is now,” he says.
Mallory says the new arrangement makes sense.
“It’s going to work out better for everybody.”