The warm, comforting sound of plucked melodies sang through the acoustic guitar room of Danny D’s Guitar Hacienda.
A customer was testing out a $5,000 acoustic guitar, one of hundreds of quality, high-end stringed instruments the League City shop stocks. There is competition in the area, including Guitar Center, but owner Danny Douglass, sitting on an old bench in the room, said his business is different.
“It’s not corporate,” he said. “It’s friendly. Personable.”
Danny D’s is stocked with hundreds of electric and acoustic guitars, basses, ukuleles, mandolins, banjos and other similar instruments. Douglass orders them all himself and works with customers to find the right fit for them based on their play style, desired string spacing and other small factors other businesses might not consider.
Customers have called Douglass a curator of fine instruments, and they are right, Douglass said. Bigger retailers can stock stores with 100 versions of the same instrument and sell them cheap, but Douglass takes care in selecting what instruments hang from his walls, and he enjoys testing them, he said.
“I get to play with all the toys,” Douglass said.
Douglass is a musician himself who first started working at Mr. T’s Pickin’ Parlor in 1984. Within a few years, he became the owner, and he has been repairing and selling guitars at the renamed business ever since.
“I was really interested, and I was doing guitar repairs for them already,” Douglass said. “I took it over and just kept going.”
Douglass settled into the shop’s existing location in 2004 after four years of owning the unusual adobe building, which is almost a century old. Douglass spent years tearing it out and customizing it with old sheet metal, antique furniture and other finds that give the building’s interior a personal flair as eye catching as its exterior.
“I saw the potential in it,” he said.
The shop is known for repairing guitars. Douglass spends his days doing everything from simple string replacements to fixing cracks and patching holes on decades-old guitars. One he recently worked on was an heirloom from the 1940s that probably has not been played in years, Douglass said.
When repairing a guitar, Douglass knows he is working on a customer’s treasured piece of equipment, and he treats the job as such.
“I want to let them know that we’re gonna take good care of it,” Douglass said. “I think just acknowledging people as people—it makes a lot of difference to them. I know it does to me.”
Danny D’s Guitar Hacienda
200 N. Hwy. 3, League City
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Sun.