Over the past 12 years, Eastport Music Scene has developed into a mainstay of the Long Island community that shares its name. The store has become “a place musicians and budding musicians can conduct all music-related business in a friendly and creative environment,” the Owner, Thomas Peterson, explained. It’s also a supporter of the arts, supplying sound systems and backlines for local blues festivals, theaters and several local high school battle of the bands events. Eastport Music Scene’s many customers and fans would likely be surprised to find out that the roots of the store were planted as a result of not only Peterson’s hard work but also a series of coincidences that Peterson couldn’t have planned if he tried.
Eastport Music Scene
374 Montauk Hwy.
Eastport, NY 11941
Mon-Fri 10am to 8pm
Sat 10am to 5pm
Sun 11am to 5pm
Thomas Peterson, Owner
“My family owned a building in Eastport NY where we were running an antiques business,” said Peterson, a drummer, whose mother came to him one day out of the blue and said, “If there is anything you’d like to do in the building, you could have use of half the store.” The timing of the offer was serendipitous, as it was just a few weeks earlier that one of Peterson’s guitarist friends told him the space would be great for a music store. At that point, Peterson knew his destiny.
“When I knew I was actually going to open a music store, I got really excited because I’m a buyer at heart and I love music. This was a match made in heaven for me,” said Peterson. “I decided to take advantage of the opportunity set before me. I got all my legal stuff in order. I registered with the state, received my re-sale number and I was off and running. Within six months, I had taken half the store and opened the doors.”
The 550-square-foot store opened on August 15, 2001 with a lean staff—just Peterson, his wife and his brother-in-law—and a small inventory consisting of approximately 20 guitars, three sets of drums, and a few guitar and bass amps. “I didn’t have a lot of money to work with, so I knew the most important thing for me was to have accessories like strings, drum sticks, reeds, cables and other things that working musicians and students would need,” said Peterson, whose business was put to the test weeks later when the terrorist attacks of September 11 sent a chill through the country, and especially the New York area.