Gibson has announced a grand opening date of February 24 for its new flagship store, the Gibson Garage London.
The brand opened the Gibson Garage Nashville back in 2021 and has chosen the UK capital as the home for its second location – and its first Garage space outside of the US.
The new store address is 61-62 Eastcastle St, London, UK, which is a short walk from the city’s iconic Oxford Street and, we note, within a half-mile of the city’s traditional music row, Denmark Street – which seems like pretty savvy positioning.
Gibson tells us the 4,500 sq ft space will offer a range of more than 300 electric and acoustic guitars, plus other amps and pedals sourced from the full range of the Gibson Brands stable, including Epiphone, Kramer, Mesa/Boogie, Maestro pedals and, of course, the Gibson Custom Shop.
As with the Nashville space, players will be able to spec their own Custom Shop Murphy Lab Made to Measure builds in-store, selecting the actual top material and specs of their choosing, on the spot.
In addition, the space will have its own stage area, enabling it play host to everything from live shows to panel discussions. Then there’s a dedicated acoustic room, plus a huge array of Gibson ‘lifestyle’ goodies (clothing, accessories, gifts and more).
“We are thrilled to announce the opening of the Gibson Garage London!” says Gibson Brands President and CEO Cesar Gueikian.
“London was an obvious choice for our second location, given it’s one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world with a highly influential and vibrant musical ecosystem.
“The Gibson Garage is how we want our fans to experience Gibson; an immersive dream space where fans walk in and say, ‘Wow, this is the place that Gibson should have always had!’”
The store has been created under the watchful eye of Gibson’s Director of Brand Experience, Mark Agnesi – the man tasked with opening the firm’s Nashville space, helming its Certified Vintage program and overseeing its burgeoning multimedia empire.
“[The Gibson Garage has] become this Mecca in Nashville for guitar players,” Agnesi told GW, when we spoke back in September.
“Bringing the Gibson Garage in London to life is going to be equally as gratifying. For me to see these designs that I put together become a real store that people are in and becomes a part of London's guitar culture [it’s exciting].”
In order to go about that, Agnesi explained he was keen that Gibson’s first non-US store would not be a straight ‘lift and drop’ of the Nashville space.
“They will always have a similar look and feel in terms of how the brands are represented,” says Agnesi, in the same conversation.
“But it's always my intention to bring as much local flair in as I can. When you walk into the London Garage, you'll know you're in London – and [it will be the same for] any Garage we might make in the future after that.”
Gibson’s marketing materials are leaning into the local vibe, channeling something of the UK ’70s punk aesthetic – appropriate, perhaps, given Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones’ association with the Gibson Les Paul.
Of course, one of the key reasons the Nashville store has become such an essential stop on the US guitar trail is its unrivaled haul of vintage and rare Gibsons contained in the exclusive ‘Gibson Vault’ – hidden behind a bookcase.
That collection, we’re told, will remain the preserve of the US space, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be rarities on hand in London.
“Similarly to Nashville, there will be some private areas,” says Agnesi. “It won't be behind a bookshelf, it'll have a little more London flair!
“But there will definitely be some vintage stuff. I don't want to say ‘on display’, because maybe not everyone will have access to it, but there will definitely be cool guitars in the building, for sure.”
The Gibson Garage London is set to open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 12-6pm from February 24.