Michael Davis is at the register. He is being swarmed by customers. "Sure," he says to a woman, "you could find an American-made mandolin, but a good one is going to be about $1,000 to $2,000." The woman looks at the Chinese-made instrument. It's beautiful and only $500. Eventually, she buys it.
Davis opened Hanahan's Ye Olde Music Shop 25 years ago, and over the course of that time, the store has won the Charleston City Paper's Best of Charleston Readers' Pick for local music store multiple times. Davis is also one of the main forces behind Hanahan's brand new amphitheater.
"I've been a musician my whole life. You get to a point in your life where you start thinking about what you want to leave," Davis says.
The large outdoor theater opened on Sept. 21 with a screening of Hunger Games, and the next event is Hanahan's Red, White, and Blue Fall Festival, featuring Davis' band 9 Iron. "I figure since I helped make it, my band gets to be the first one to play there," he says with a laugh.
The fall festival is on Nov. 16 and runs from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. It'll features performances by Palmetto Storm, Staff Development, and the Charleston Community Orchestra, and there'll be food, craft vendors, hay rides, children's events, and games.
The amphitheater is tucked away behind Hanahan's senior center at 3100 Mabeline Drive. "It used to be just a messy piece of land," Davis says, "but the city felt like it needed a place to showcase talent." The theater itself can seat around 2,000 which makes it one of the larger venues in the Charleston area. "For the first year, we want to have, not national acts, but local acts, Lowcountry acts." Davis says. He notes that they've already talked to a one of Chucktown's most popular bands about playing there.
Randy Moneymaker, the director of the Hanahan parks and recreation department, says the amphitheater costs around $1 million, and much of the money was raised through private donations. "The City of Hanahan also conducted fundraisers such as our annual golf tournament and all proceeds from these events went toward the project as well," Moneymaker says, "This project has been planned for over 15 years with city staff working on it." The City plans to add a fishing pier, picnic shelters, and a children's play area to the spot.
Back at Ye Olde Music Shop, Davis lays out his hopes for the future. He says, "I'd eventually like to see a Lowcountry music hall of fame."