Best Guitar Store - 2000
It's a little hard to negotiate your way around the display room at Acme Guitars without bumping into an amplifier. The floor is littered with Ampegs, Mesas, Marshalls and old Fender tube amps. The walls of the small shop are lined with vintage guitars, arch-topped Gibsons and flattop Guilds. Mainly, though, the guitars are of the plugged-in variety: Fender Strats and Teles, Gibson Les Pauls and SGs, Epiphones and Gretsches -- the kind of electrified instruments that in the right hands can cause a major peace disturbance and do structural damage to a Dogtown flat. Acme opened its doors last year, but owner Mike Teepe has been buying, selling and trading guitars for 30 years. He says he once paid more than $40,000 for a 1960 Les Paul. But the guitars he sells at his store start as low as $200 or so. And repairman Chris Villani fixes guitars and amplifiers for Acme customers. When you drop by the shop, you may run into David Surkamp, the veteran St. Louis rock & roller, or Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets.