After 39 years of supplying instruments and gear to Orange County, Anaheim music shop Pete's Music will be closing it's doors. Rising rent, and better business at their Riverside County locations has drawn an end to the Anaheim store, which is unfortunate in an era of harder to come by mom-n-pop music shops. The entire inventory is being liquidated which means everything is on sale until they close February 18.
Pete's Music first opened up in 1978 on the northwest corner of Euclid St. and Katella Ave. in Anaheim when owner Pete Surowski opened a studio to teach guitar, which would eventually turn into a music shop. In 1986, due to demolition, they moved across the street to the northeast corner of Euclid St. and Katella Ave. where they would be located until 2012. That year, they decided to move down the street to their final location on Orangewood Ave. and Euclid St. for a better deal on the rent.
Cassie Brueckner, Surowski's daughter and manager of the Anaheim location, says the reason for closing the Anaheim shop is due to landlords raising the rent, which is the same reason Pete's Music had to move from their location on Katella Ave. and Euclid St.
"They're trying to rationalize us being a mile and a half from Disneyland as a reason to charge more rent, when we don't get increased business from being a mile and a half from Disneyland," Brueckner says, "it's the community that shops here, not tourists."
It appears that commercial real estate in the area has taken the same move towards higher rent, which is partially why Pete's Music is calling it quits.
"We have looked at a lot of other commercial real estate in this close vicinity," Brueckner says. "We didn't want to move far because we wanted to maintain our clientele, and we just couldn't find anything else with a reasonable rate for us to justify. We lost too many customers the first time around."
Surowski says that Pete's Music had a long term plan to focus their business in Riverside County regardless, with the opening of a location in Menifee in 2001, and a location in Temecula in 2002.
"That was our ultimate goal," Surowski says, "plus our stores in Riverside County are doing better than the one in Anaheim."
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Pete's Music has supplied nearly four decades of OC musicians and received NAMM's award for 35 Years of Excellent Service in 2012. Surowski claims that Gwen Stefani and No Doubt frequented the Anaheim location before they made it big, guitarist Alan Holdsworth had stopped by, as well as Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen, and has claimed in the past that members of Lit would also pass through.
Brueckner literally grew up at the Anaheim stores, and stated the hardest part about leaving the location is leaving behind all of the Anaheim customers, whom she wanted to tell "thanks for all the many years of friendship and the love of music."
"We'd like to give a thanks to Orange County for giving their support over the years," Surowski says. "We'll miss all of our friends in Orange County, and hopefully they'll come out and visit us in Riverside County or keep in touch with us via our website, email, or facebook."
Pete's Music is located at 2060 S. Euclid St. #F Anaheim, California and can be reached at (714)534-7383.