New Canaan Music makes a move to Main Street
Published 12:00 am, Thursday, August 31, 2017
NEW CANAAN — For four years, Phil Williams successfully operated his store, New Canaan Music, despite a less than optimal location, in an alley off of Elm Street hidden from street view.
“Although we were in the middle of town we were kind of in a no-man’s land,” Williams said Monday, from his new, more prominently located shop at 90 Main St. “Just last week alone I can’t tell you how many people came in to the new spot and said, ‘Oh, New Canaan needed a music store.’”
The new storefront opened its doors on Aug. 21 after months of preparation and hosted its grand re-opening Aug. 23.
According to Williams, he started looking at spaces in summer 2016, but began the moving process in earnest this past spring.
“We signed a lease in the beginning of May, we started construction by the beginning of July and we were in by August. Once we signed the deal things started moving like gang busters,” Williams said. “Everything couldn’t have worked better.”
Williams said early reactions to the store have been positive and that he’s noticed an increase in foot traffic already.
“They managed to succeed being tucked away off the beaten path,” said Peter Bush, a co-founder of Caffeine and Carburetors. “There seems to be so much emphasis on businesses closing. Phil Williams and New Canaan Music are a prime example of how to make a go of it.”
The Main Street space was most recently occupied by the Post Office before its permanent move to Locust Avenue and, at more than 2,000 square feet, is significantly larger than the former, 1,200 square foot location.
During the build out, Williams said eight new lesson rooms, a new floor, kitchen and guitar room were created.
“Last Tuesday after we moved in we had lessons going in four rooms here, which would have been problematic to do in the old spot,” Williams said. “We wanted a bigger place that could really fill our needs. We were kind of crammed into the old spot. Now we’ve got room for everything we want to do and hopefully grow into this spot.”
New Canaan Music moves into a stretch of Main Street that has been noteworthy recently for its high number of vacancies.
“It’s nice to be on Main Street. This part of town needed some help as well. It was pretty much “Desolation Row,” to quote the Bob Dylan song. But hopefully we’ll bring a little energy and start a little momentum for this part of town,” Williams said.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy was also enthusiastic about the move.
“Way to go Phil, growing a business from a little location off the beaten path to a point that it’s now needing more space,” Murphy said. “We’re thrilled that he’s over in an area where we need to drive more traffic.”