Rock Bottom Music moving out of downtown

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, June 6, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- After more than a decade downtown, one business says it's done with the violence.

Rock Bottom Music has been on the corner of 8th and Broad for years, but now they're moving.

"We've got one up here in the sign," said owner Jonathan Karow as he pointed to the bullet hole in the sign on the front of his store.

"There's always crime everywhere no matter where you go, but it's just escalated beyond repair downtown," he said.

His store, Rock Bottom Music, has spent more than 10 years on this corner, but now they're moving.

"We tried and tried and tried to hang on," Karow said.

He started looking at other options after the First Friday shooting in July, but last month, he knew it was time to go.

"The J.B. White's fight and the volunteer fireman getting beat up and hospitalized were absolutely the last straw," Karow said.

He says they've loved downtown, but they've lost customers.

"Sincerely, we watched our numbers drop drastically right after the first shootings and stabbings," he said.

The family music store caters to school bands, churches and lessons for children and adults, but Karow says many of them are afraid to come here.

"A lot of students quit coming down here," Karow said. "Some of them were just no-shows, some of them gave excuses."

His employees don't feel safe, either.

"One of our employees was robbed at gunpoint in front of the police substation right behind us leaving work," he said.

He may be moving, but he's not giving up on downtown.

"There's some great clubs here, some great food downtown, and we're still gonna come downtown and we wish downtown the best," he said.

The store is moving to Washington Road in Fairway Square across the street from Hooters.

He says since announcing the move, he's received all positive feedback.

Karow says the new move also gives them room for growth.

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