A new form of art is hanging in the windows of Cafeteria on 58 Main St. and this art is not just on display, but for sale.
With a severe lack of music stores in New Paltz, Root Note Music Shop has recently been added to fill the gap. Twenty-three-year-old owner Tyler Beatrice, who has moved his store from New Paltz to Saugerties and now back to where he started, said he is more than pleased with his new address.
“I always envisioned having a music store/café, and then it happened,” said Beatrice.
Beatrice, originally from Saugerties, came to SUNY New Paltz in 2006 first studying anthropology. He then switched to business for a year and is now studying anthropology again. In May of 2010, he started his own business by selling guitars and accessories at Slash Root, hence the “Root” in the name.
“It wasn’t ideal because I was in the back of Slash Root,” said Beatrice.
After only a few months, he decided to bring Root Note to Main Street in Saugerties, splitting the place with a friend who did guitar repairs. After less than a year, Beatrice started looking for a place back in New Paltz.
“I’ve lived in New Paltz since 2006 so I knew what New Paltz was like musically and knew [the store would] be better here,” said Beatrice.
In September 2011, Cafeteria owner Jim Svetz contacted Beatrice about opening inside the coffee shop. Beatrice started moving in immediately and shut down his store in Saugerties. Placing most of his products in storage, Beatrice began to slowly move into the small corner in the front of the café.
Although the grand opening for Root Note Music Shop isn’t until Nov. 4, Beatrice has been unofficially opened and so far he said he’s doing very well. The selection includes acoustic, electric and nylon-string guitars, travel-sized guitars, ukuleles, hand-drums, djembes, microphones, recording equipment, cables, strings, drum sticks, headphones, capos, picks, slides and cases.
“I have an electric sitar form India right now which is really cool,” said Beatrice.
Beatrice collects guitars from a variety of vendors and can also do special orders upon requests.
“I’ve been selling these ukuleles pretty often,” said Beatrice. “They’re pretty affordable $35 ukes. I sold out in the first week. I just ordered nine more.”
Beatrice said he has been getting a wide response from both students and people in town.
“Some people ask me as far as guitars go, why prices are so low. I don’t know, because I want you to buy it,” said Beatrice.
Third-year secondary education major Alex Figura recently bought a Fender acoustic electric guitar for $300 at Root Note. He said at first he thought Cafeteria was just putting a few guitars on display and after seeing a lot more added the next week, he stepped inside to see what was going on.
“[Tyler] was really nice and open to have me try different instruments. He’s also very knowledgeable about the products he has,” said Figura. “He’s got his own legitimate business going there, and that’s really impressive. I like to support local business.”
Figura said he fell in love with the Fender and “just had to buy it.”
“It sounds amazing and I thought the price was definitely reasonable,” he said.
Although the space is small for holding a lot of equipment, Beatrice said he wants to stay in Cafeteria because it’s a “good location and great atmosphere.” Root Note Music Shop will have separate hours than Cafeteria’s, which will be available after the grand opening.
Beatrice has also planned a show for his grand opening with Route 32 Presents and a number of musicians.
“I think he [Tyler] is a great guy and love what he is doing with his shop, so I thought that it would be a great idea to celebrate his store opening with an awesome show at Cafeteria,” said third-year art history major and booking & management at Route 32 Presents Kali Quinn. “It has to be an acoustic show, since there are no drums allowed, so I booked the cream of the crop of local front men and solo artists.”
Beatrice said he hopes to have as many shows at the shop as possible.
“I hope that we can reign in lots of folks to support Tyler and his music shop adventure! I think that Root Note is just what we need in this town, and I know plenty of people who agree and are super psyched about it,” said Quinn.
For more information on the store, check out Root Note Music Shop on Facebook or at