Dave’s Roadhouse Music closed up shop last weekend after rocking out on Yale Road in Chilliwack for almost 30 years.
Owner Dave Selvitella said he’s been “selling dreams” for about 36 years all told – if you count the years he ran the music business in Hope.
“Everybody that’s ever came in here has handed me their hard-earned money,” he said. “I always tried to offer a fair price.”
He first opened in Hope, before relocating to Chilliwack on Yale Road, just south of Hodgins Avenue.
“Everyone thinks I’m retiring,” Selvitella told The Progress on the last day in the store.
He said the truth is he’s being forced to close up shop because the building is going to be renovated, he was told by the owners.
The music store carved out a niche for itself supplying musicians with much-needed repairs, as well as the option to buy or rent instruments, amplifiers, and other gear from the funky little storefront.
Polaroids of famous and not-so-famous musicians were still taped to the walls, in the mostly empty space, along some rock posters, a few guitars, a jukebox, and amps.
“This is my stage,” he said about the tiny space where he sold musical instruments, gear, and offered repairs and accessories.
He says people came to his store from Vancouver, from up north, and across the Lower Mainland, as well as back east.
“They came from all over. You can’t be in a business like this for that long, and be established, without people coming from all over.”
When he wasn’t working on an instrument repair or a guitar setup, Dave could sometimes be seen outside pondering the state of things outside the shop as traffic zoomed by.
There are many Dave’s Roadhouse related stories people can probably tell.
There’s one posted on his social media page about a green acoustic guitar that became legendary for a local family.
Kelsey Joanne posted that her parents bought “the craziest green acoustic guitar” from Dave’s 20 years ago when one of her older siblings wanted to learn to play.
“It’s been passed down since and has had three of five of us kids play it. I still have it to this day. We call it ‘the green machine’ because there’s really no way to describe the hilarious unique shades of green that it is.”
Dave’s Roadhouse is joining a roster of established businesses that have announced closures near downtown Chilliwack in the past year, including Homer Restaurant, Younies, and The Rendezvous Restaurant.
The sign posted on the window says: “Stay Tuned!”
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— An earlier version of this story said Dave’s Roadhouse had been in Chilliwack for 36 years but it has been corrected to almost 30.
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