OREGON – John Lindhorst is not shy when it comes to the building that will house his new business.
“The coolest thing is, this has kind of been my ultimate dream building,” he said. “It started out cool and ended up ‘Oh my God.’”
OMG indeed. In fact, the business is the Oregon Music Garage, which is just behind the little building on IL Rt. 64 in Oregon Lindhorst is famous for owning – Ukulele Station America. But while one is a cute space of just a little more than 200 square feet, the new building is 2,800 square feet of precisely build space and perfectly selected fixtures. The cement floors alone are something to behold, giving off the feeling of movement and waves.
“I never believed it would be this nice,” he said.
And the public will get a chance to see it for themselves at a soft opening set for Nov. 20.
But it has been a long haul to get to this point. Lindhorst said they broke ground on the property on June 1.
“When I say broke ground, they not only literally broke ground, they broke the utility pole, cut the power,” he said with a laugh.
That allowed him to put all the power underground and also have new sewer and water lines installed to the new building, the Ukulele Station building and his home, which is also on the property.
The framing for the building started going up on July 28. The work was done by Rural Renovators out of Franklin Grove.
“Everything in this building is engineered materials,” Lindhorst said. “Everything is made to be perfect.”
That meant the initial budget of $250,000 was eventually increased to $500,000. But the finished product is more than he could have hoped for, Lindhorst said.
But it is still just an empty shell waiting to be filled with instruments. And that will be the soul of the building, with Lindhorst taking his ukulele business and expanding it to include more instruments.
High end ukuleles will still be sold out of the Ukulele Station America building, but lower priced ukuleles will join acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjoes, dulcimers, autoharps, some world percussion and accessories at the Oregon Music Garage.
There will even be electric guitars and amplifiers for sale in an area called the Guitar Garage. Guitars from Gretsch, Fender and Washburn will be for sale along with amplifiers from Fishman and possibly Fender as well.
There will be space for lessons, and repairs and instrument set-up can be done on site as well.
“This will be the heart, right here,” Lindhorst said of the building.
He also plans to finally jump into Internet sales.
“I need to do that, but I need to find someone who wants to head that up,” he said.
There will also be a performance space for shows as well as regular open mic night events.
With the long project finally coming to an end, Lindhorst said he has some mixed emotions.
“Half depressed, half thrilled – it depends on the hour,” he chuckled.
To start, the Oregon Music Garage and Ukulele Station America will be open Wednesday thought Saturday, 1-5 p.m.