Nazareth's retail scene tunes up

Golden Guitar Gallery brings rare guitars and more to Nazareth.

C.F. Martin & Co., a product of the Lehigh Valley, is known for making sweet music around the globe.

Guitarist and Martin & Co. manager Ed Golden knows that quite well. He travels to guitar galleries worldwide on business for the Upper Nazareth Township-based manufacturer, but travels to few stops locally.

Tired of hearing locals saying they had to drive to Philadelphia or New York for instruments, Golden decided to open Golden Guitar Gallery at 101 S. Main St., Nazareth.

Golden designed the 1,600-square-foot gallery to mirror the guitar galleries he visited.

A one-stop store for guitarists, Golden Guitar carries acoustic and electric guitars by manufacturers like Martin, Gibson and others, including some local custom instruments.

The climate-controlled shop sells guitars with price tags ranging from hundreds for simple guitars to thousands for rare pieces, including some guitars dating to the early and mid-1900s.

There's also a Martin prototype guitar that Golden created years ago.

The shop also carries amplifiers and other supplies, in addition to photos of famous guitarists by photojournalist Thomas Monaster.

Golden Guitar, decorated with wood-toned details and comfortable furniture, also houses a workshop for repairs and restorations. Golden, a longtime Martin employee who has held positions in everything from design to sales and quality control, also teaches a two-month-long workshop on how to make an acoustic or electric guitar.

Website: http://www.goldenguitargallery.com

The area around Lehigh Valley International Airport features many large buildings that are ideal for everything from distribution centers to sports-focused retailers that need a lot of brick and mortar.

One example is Lehigh Valley Laser Tag, which opened in 2010 at the former Dillon Floral Corp. warehouse on Marcon Boulevard in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

Well, there's more sport on the horizon. Entrepreneur Donald Deck is aiming to open a paintball arena on City Line Road in Bethlehem.

There's no opening date to report yet, but I'll update when details emerge.

The Valley has added several sports entertainment venues in recent years. That includes Pig Pen Sports Bar, which opened years ago and is similar to popular chain Dave & Buster's with its bowling alley and arcade.

Pig Pen is only blocks away from The Grid Code, an airsoft and Nerf arena on Union Boulevard. The Grid Code also operates a 6-acre outdoor venue at the Apple Blossom Village in Upper Mount Bethel Township.

There's more coming for the games crowd, too. The former Regal Cinema on Route 378 in Lower Saucon Township is being transformed into a Dave & Buster's-like entertainment venue.

Franklin Entertainment of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., submitted plans to the township earlier this year to renovate the 39,000-square-foot space to include 24 bowling lanes, an arcade, restaurant and bar.

There's also much to come at the strip center at 1044 Trexlertown Road, Breinigsville.

The strip, next to Mazzola's II Italian restaurant, is already home to The Barber Shop, Lehigh Valley Vacuum and Shamrock Custom luxury gift shop.

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