Photo Catherine Montambeault
René Mongrain has worked for 18 years at the legendary music store Steve s.
Sunday, 16 July 2017 21:02
Sunday, 16 July 2017 21:02
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After having spent more than 50 years on the rue Saint-Antoine, the legendary Steve’s music store will move its hundreds of instruments on the rue Sainte-Catherine Is by September.
“It’s going to be a store new, but we keep the next vintage. It was very important for us to keep our flavor and not to become a superstore like any other. It’s going to be sickening!” exclaimed René Mongrain, the manager of the shop.
In Montreal, Steve’s Music Store has 10 departments, spread over several buildings contiguous.
A few months ago, a notice of expropriation has been sent to the owner of the buildings, which house more than half of those departments, forcing the music store to relocate. An extension of the Palais des congress could take its place.
As to the section in which Steve’s Music Store is the owner, it will be converted into a centre of services, liquidation and lease of instruments.
“All that could be seen as a kick in the teeth, but, on the contrary, we decided to see it as an opportunity,” says René Mongrain. Our central store is going to become more accessible and we will be closer to the musicians, because they’re going to be next to Foufounes électriques, Club Soda and the Metropolis.”
The new branch, located at 150, rue Sainte-Catherine est, will be slightly smaller than the former, in an open area and on two floors. A stage fitted to the same the store will allow the holding of performances. “It’s going to be a very dynamic place,” says Mongrain.
Since its opening in 1965, Steve’s Music Store has seen within its walls that countless celebrities. “Francis Cabrel, Paul Piché, Michel Rivard, Michel Pagliaro, Daniel Lavoie, Lisa Leblanc, Steve Hill… This would be less to say that does not come here!” says Mr. Mongrain.
Sell a dream
Even if the shop doesn’t close its doors, many employees and customers experience when they need to say goodbye to the flooring quavers and cracks in the wall that characterize this institution.
Albert Chambers, owner of Studio Base Bin, still remembers the day he bought his first guitar at Steve’s Music Store at the age of 14 years. Today 50 years old, the Montrealer is ever faithful to his favorite store.
“It’s like my second family,” he said. In all my life, I have had to get into another music store only once or twice.”
Lenny, the head of percussion at the shop, feel different emotions at the idea of moving. “We are in a hurry, but at the same time, it is sad. This is a story all that we leave behind,” he says.
When asked if he thinks that the customers will follow rue Sainte-Catherine, Lenny is unequivocal : “Absolutely, I’m not worried. Here, we sell the dream, sell the passion. And if they do we follow not, we’ll go get them!”