Guthrie businesses rock during Gentlemen of the Road festival

About 35,000 extra people poured into Guthrie on Saturday to see Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Haim, The Vaccines and other bands at Cottonwood Flats, and spent money with downtown merchants on their way to the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover.
BY George Lang glang@opubco.com Modified: September 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm •  Published: September 7, 2013
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“They came off the plane and came right here,” said Berline, a respected fiddler who has played with Vince Gill and The Rolling Stones. He then pointed toward one of the fiddlers playing in his store. It was Ross Holmes, who is playing with Mumford & Sons as a sideman on this tour.

“I've known him since he was 12 years old,” he said.

Business also was brisk at the many “pop-up stores” that were created specifically for the event. The 51st Street Speakeasy, an Oklahoma City bar and music venue, opened two pop-up locations in downtown Guthrie: a beer garden near the trolley stop, and an inside bar at 116 W Harrison, the former location of Kenney's Irish Pub. Co-owner Greg Bustamante booked several local musicians to play at that location throughout the event, including rapper Josh Sallee.

Similarly, Tree & Leaf Clothing, a successful T-shirt and screen printing company in Oklahoma City's Plaza District, set up such a store just outside Prairie Wolf Spirits at 124 E Oklahoma.

Co-owner and designer Dusty Gilpin, who was selling Tree & Leaf clothes out of a van emblazoned with “GOTR” graffiti art, said it is an exciting time for Guthrie — a time that will continue long after the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover moves on. He said there are parallels between what he sees as a Plaza District merchant and the new activity in downtown Guthrie.

“Now, in Guthrie, you have Hancock Creative Shop, you have Prairie Gothic and new restaurants and the distillery,” Gilpin said. “I think it's definitely on track. It's got the momentum.”