Gibson is to open a second Gibson Garage in London, with the flagship store to offer a similar experience to its Nashville counterpart, catering to all the brands under its ownership.
The Gibson Garage London will house all things Gibson, Epiphone, Kramer, Mesa/Boogie and Maestro pedals, and visitors will learn more about the Gibson and its brands, and of course to be able to try – and buy – the full range of acoustic guitars, electric guitars, guitar amps and pedals.
No date has been set for the grand opening but Gibson says there will be an announcement in the coming months, with the Gibson Garage London expected to open its doors to the public in early 2o24.
Gibson president and CEO Cesar Gueikian described London as the “obvious choice” for the new retail venture, and in a statement he explained the thinking behind the Gibson Garage concept.
“When we first began designing the Gibson Garage, our global flagship, we asked ourselves, ‘What do we want our fans to experience when walking into Gibson?’ We imagined an immersive dream space where fans walk in and say, ‘Wow, this is the place that Gibson should have always had!’” he said. “The Garage we built in Nashville is an exciting place to experience Gibson music and lifestyle through instruments, sound, media, and apparel.
“The Garage is designed to be a part of the local music community with a live stage featuring performances and events from icons and emerging artists on any given day of the week.”
The Gibson Garage London will occupy 4,500 square feet of retail space just off Oxford Street, and will house some 300 guitars, acoustic and electric, at all price points from Epiphone to Gibson Custom Shop.
This announcement presumably means that we will finally see the return of Mesa/Boogie amps to the UK and Europe, which have been conspicuous by their absence of late.
In an Instagram AMA, Gueikian said Mesa/Boogie amps would be returning “after the summer”. Maybe they will already be with dealers by the time the new Garage opens.
Players who have been following Gibson’s high-end Custom Shop activity and Certified Vintage programmes will note that some of these more exclusive models have only been available upon enquiry at the Gibson Garage Nashville. It will be interesting to see if Gibson has plans to make these models available via its London store.
Gueikian did say that Gibson’s Nashville site has had “an extraordinary impact” on the Music City music scene, and hopes for similar success in London.
“The Gibson Garage in Nashville has had an extraordinary impact on the music scene in addition to becoming a global music destination and we are thrilled to bring the Garage to London,” he said. “As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, London has always been an influential musical ecosystem and became an obvious choice of where to open our next Gibson Garage.”
In other Gibson news, the Nashville-based guitar giant has teamed up with the country superstar Miranda Lambert for a stunning signature Bluebird acoustic – a variation on the Hummingbird, it refinishes it in Bluebonnet and features a custom pickguard.
And one to file under speculation, Gueikian has teased the return of the Les Paul Supreme, posting a factory shot on Friday of unfinished Supremes, and then again, yesterday, 7 August, with a pic of a spectacularly quilted maple topped Les Paul in a deep red stain. Something is brewing.