Best Ukulele Store2011 Winner ‘Best Ukulele Store’ in other markets »
16582 Gothard St., Huntington Beach, CA 92647
On the outside, it's a nondescript, cream-colored industrial-park suite. On the inside: a uke-topia, complete with bamboo stalks and fake plants. More ukuleles than you ever knew existed line the walls of this Hawaiian-themed shop. Even ukulele experts would be hard-pressed to name an existing uke-related item the store doesn't carry. Ukulele books? Check. Cases? Check. Note cards, Hawaiian leis and other kitsch? Check, check and check. Whether you're a rookie or a pro, Island Bazaar is your place. The ukes range in quality and price, starting at $50 and peaking around $3,000. The staff are friendly and helpful; as it says on the website, "If we know you are dropping in, we would love to make a fuss over you." But if you tell the salespeople you're just looking, they'll leave you alone and head back to the task at hand—strumming. Aside from selling ukuleles, Island Bazaar also offers lessons and several jam sessions every week. Beginners can learn on Wednesday nights. Then on Fridays, the Surf City Strummers work on a new play list each week and boast the best snacks of all the uke groups. If you stick around all day, and it's the last Friday of the month, you can play along during gospel night. It even sets up concerts by ukulele greats—musicians have traveled from Hawaii and Canada to play at the shop—and charges just 20 bucks. Oh, yeah, and don't forget to grab an "EvolUKEtion" T-shirt on the way out.
Source: OC Weekly
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