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San Diego Guitar Repair moves to College Area

Hip location traded for better parking

Owner Andy Greenberg heads for hopefully greener pastures on El Cajon Boulevard after moving to a new burg.
Owner Andy Greenberg heads for hopefully greener pastures on El Cajon Boulevard after moving to a new burg.

After 12 years, San Diego Guitar Repair recently left their storefront in University Heights and moved to a new location on the 6700 block of El Cajon Boulevard, about a mile from San Diego State. The prior location was on a popular stretch of Adams Avenue near Polite Provisions, Beerfish, and the Air Conditioned Lounge.

“It’s more people eating and walking around than it is customers bringing their guitars,” owner Andy Greenberg explained. “I felt that most of my customers weren’t the walk-by customers. So, they’ve got a lot of people over there, but they’re not all bringing in guitars. And, it was really hard to park. They didn’t like you parking [across the street] at 7/11. Even the loading zone around the corner, the green spot — it was never open. And the parking tickets… oh my god.”

The move was actually spurred by another move — Greenberg finding a new apartment. After he relocated to La Mesa, he figured it would be nice to have his shop closer to his new digs. He traded in the trendy foot traffic of University Heights for ample parking, a mellower neighborhood, and easy access for the SDSU kids. It’s a bit of a reunion for him as well, as Greenberg once worked (circa 1996) at the old El Cajon Boulevard location of Guitar Center that was five blocks to the west of his new shop.

“They put me in the accessories department, where I bombed,” Greenberg, a bass player, recounted.

Even though he had stints at both the San Diego and Sherman Oaks Guitar Centers, it was local retailer Guitar Trader where he really cut his teeth learning his craft. To hear Greenberg tell it, he was basically at the right place, at the right time, with the right skill-set. “I worked in a guitar shop, and I had an aptitude for it. That was what I did, and people liked what I did, so I kept doing it. It was easy for me, and I understood it for the most part. During school, I had shop classes and everything, but I was just good with my hands,” he said.

One instrument that happened to pass through his hands over the years was the guitar that local Iron Butterfly singer/organist Doug Ingle used when he wrote “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” way back in the mid-1960s.

“The headstock had broken off, and it was pretty messed-up,” Greenberg explained. “He had broken the guitar a couple times and had it fixed, so the guitar wasn’t in great shape. It was a tricky repair, but I was really happy when it was done. It played great and he was thrilled. That makes it worth it.”

“You have to have patience to do it in the first place, or you’re not going to last long,” Greenberg concluded. “You’re going to screw somebody’s expensive guitar up, they’re gonna complain, and you’re gonna be out. You have to have some kind of aptitude for it, but, if you work for a music store, you see how purchasing happens, how parts are purchased, how things are priced, and how it all works.”

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Owner Andy Greenberg heads for hopefully greener pastures on El Cajon Boulevard after moving to a new burg.
Owner Andy Greenberg heads for hopefully greener pastures on El Cajon Boulevard after moving to a new burg.

After 12 years, San Diego Guitar Repair recently left their storefront in University Heights and moved to a new location on the 6700 block of El Cajon Boulevard, about a mile from San Diego State. The prior location was on a popular stretch of Adams Avenue near Polite Provisions, Beerfish, and the Air Conditioned Lounge.

“It’s more people eating and walking around than it is customers bringing their guitars,” owner Andy Greenberg explained. “I felt that most of my customers weren’t the walk-by customers. So, they’ve got a lot of people over there, but they’re not all bringing in guitars. And, it was really hard to park. They didn’t like you parking [across the street] at 7/11. Even the loading zone around the corner, the green spot — it was never open. And the parking tickets… oh my god.”

The move was actually spurred by another move — Greenberg finding a new apartment. After he relocated to La Mesa, he figured it would be nice to have his shop closer to his new digs. He traded in the trendy foot traffic of University Heights for ample parking, a mellower neighborhood, and easy access for the SDSU kids. It’s a bit of a reunion for him as well, as Greenberg once worked (circa 1996) at the old El Cajon Boulevard location of Guitar Center that was five blocks to the west of his new shop.

“They put me in the accessories department, where I bombed,” Greenberg, a bass player, recounted.

Even though he had stints at both the San Diego and Sherman Oaks Guitar Centers, it was local retailer Guitar Trader where he really cut his teeth learning his craft. To hear Greenberg tell it, he was basically at the right place, at the right time, with the right skill-set. “I worked in a guitar shop, and I had an aptitude for it. That was what I did, and people liked what I did, so I kept doing it. It was easy for me, and I understood it for the most part. During school, I had shop classes and everything, but I was just good with my hands,” he said.

One instrument that happened to pass through his hands over the years was the guitar that local Iron Butterfly singer/organist Doug Ingle used when he wrote “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” way back in the mid-1960s.

“The headstock had broken off, and it was pretty messed-up,” Greenberg explained. “He had broken the guitar a couple times and had it fixed, so the guitar wasn’t in great shape. It was a tricky repair, but I was really happy when it was done. It played great and he was thrilled. That makes it worth it.”

“You have to have patience to do it in the first place, or you’re not going to last long,” Greenberg concluded. “You’re going to screw somebody’s expensive guitar up, they’re gonna complain, and you’re gonna be out. You have to have some kind of aptitude for it, but, if you work for a music store, you see how purchasing happens, how parts are purchased, how things are priced, and how it all works.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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