Les Key, owner of the Meteor Guitar Gallery in Bentonville.
When Les Key first signed a long-term lease on the old Meteor Theater in downtown Bentonville, the auditorium was jammed with decades of junk. So much, in fact, that when his Meteor Guitar Gallery opened in June 2014 at 128 W. Central Ave., only the first four rooms of the building could be used.
Conceived as a guitar haven where the instrument could be showcased, sold, repaired, and taught, the gallery attracted attention but wasn’t necessarily paying the bills. Key expanded the venue by adding art, but the Meteor was still having trouble with the bottom line.
Over time, however, the building asserted itself, and Key said he had to let it be what it wanted to be — a venue for live entertainment. Equipped with a stage, capacity for nearly 300 people, authentic acoustic tiles, and... [ MORE ]