North Texas Daily

Playing on through the struggles

Playing on through the struggles

November 19
03:05 2015

Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer

@kayleighnic0le

Walking in Glen’s Pawn Shop and Music Store brings about a wave of vintage instruments and eager musicians ready to add to their vast collections.

Nestled on University Drive, the shop allows both longtime musicians and newcomers to find items that may otherwise only be available through searching the Internet.

When owner Glen McBride started working at his uncle’s pawnshop, now McBride Music and Pawn, in 1966, he had no idea the simple job would be the driving force for his full-time career. In 1978, after going to UNT, McBride decided that instead of going to work for a huge company, he wanted to go in to business for himself. It was at that time he decided to open Glen’s Pawn Shop and Music Store.

McBride has been in Denton long enough to see the city develop from a small, quiet city to a large, bustling college town. He said he has seen shops try and fail around him while large chain stores come out on top.

“My uncle’s pawnshop slowly developed a music portion to it over the years,” McBride said. “He started bringing in guitars to sell and it got me interested. I think I just became so used to the atmosphere I wanted to start my own shop. I have been doing it ever since.”

Glen’s Pawn Shop and Music Store is known for selling older, vintage instruments such as guitars, drums and pianos. In addition, the shop sells accessories or services to help with instrument upkeep, like restringing and cleaning services.

Through all the changes in Denton, he has tried to make his shop stand tall.

“Denton has grown so much right before my eyes, both physically and technologically,” McBride said. “I’m going to be honest, I’m kind of behind on technology and the growth. It is crazy trying to keep up with how fast things are moving in this day in age.”

Glen’s Pawn Shop guitar tech Dave Hineman, left, and owner Glen McBride, left, stand proud in their shop on University Drive. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Glen’s Pawn Shop guitar tech Dave Hineman, left, and owner Glen McBride, left, stand proud in their shop on University Drive. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

With the growth of the town, Glen’s Pawn Shop and Music Store has faced obstacles. After Guitar Center opened in the Rayzor Ranch Marketplace in October, McBride has felt an impact on his business.

He said it’s hard to see such a big chain open up because he has always enjoyed seeing all the customers coming to his shop. But he said as society continues to grow he knows it is obvious he will always have competition.

“It is not like how it was when I first started out,” McBride said. “It is hard to be small because there is so much out there now. Back in the day, you had to look in the classified ads in the newspaper for items. Now, it takes 10 seconds to search on Guitar Center’s website to see if they have what you’re looking for.”

David Hineman has been friends with McBride for years and now helps out part time at the shop. Hineman said through all the changes around him, McBride has been able to push through and continue serving the Denton community in the best way he can.

“More than anything, he takes his time and cares,” Hineman said. “When he gets a used instrument, he doesn’t just throw it on the shelf. He takes time to make it as fresh and new as he can. He cares about this business and providing the best service he can for the people of Denton.”

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Even though large chain Guitar Center has opened, McBride still has loyal customers that prefer to shop a local businesses. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Even though big music chains are popping up in Denton, some musicians, like drummer and North Central Texas College arts sophomore Mason Croney, still prefer to go to smaller stores like Glen’s. Although the times have changed, Croney feels small shops will always offer a one-on-one experience.

“Small music shops are so pure,” Croney said. “People who open them are 100 percent there for the customers, whereas chains are just in it for the money, it seems. They provide a connection that big brand stores cannot compete with.”

Glen’s Pawn Shop and Music Store has had some bumps along the road as the city of Denton has grown, but they still have many faithful regulars who enjoy the atmosphere and what the shop has to offer.

McBride said the regulars have a way of keeping him going even when he feels the shop is going through tough times.

“Customers who walk in to the shop and are so glad to see you are still there,” McBride said. “[It] just makes you feel so great and appreciated – like you really are doing something right. There really isn’t anything like selling something to somebody and seeing how happy they truly are.”

Since McBride has been in Denton for a majority of his life, the pawnshop owner is glad to be a part of the town’s history. He said he’s lucky to be where he is and cannot wait to see what is next in his journey.

“Through everything, I have sort of learned to not take things for granted,” McBride said. “Every business has its ups and downs, but that is just life. It’s what I signed up for. Only time will tell what will be next for me, but no matter what, I’m glad I have gotten to do what I love in the city I love.”

Featured Image: The pawn shop is known for their antique instruments like guitars and pianos. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

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1 Comment

  1. LA Drums
    LA Drums November 15, 11:59

    Really sorry to see you go Glen. I was wondering how the GC opening was going to affect you….Denton seemed a little too “hometown” for one of those…You’ve been a fixture for as long as I can remember….Enjoy retirement!
    Your old High School friend …Les

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