Fabled Manchester music store moving, but it's also staying right where it has always been
MANCHESTER - The music shop near the corner of Elm and Stark streets is leaving downtown for a larger space off of South Willow Street.
Music & Arts, a Maryland-based company that bought the retail end of Ted Herbert's Music Mart from the Herbert family 10 years ago, said the new space will allow the Manchester location to be upgraded to a "pro shop," featuring a larger selection of more intermediate and professional level instruments and accessories.
"We're excited to bring it to that market. We think it's a good addition," Music & Arts spokeswoman Anne Ittoop said Thursday.
While the store is moving, the iconic Ted Herbert's Music School upstairs in the Bell Building is staying right where it has been for decades.
The new location for Music & Arts is 18 March Ave., near The Home Depot off of South Willow.
Ittoop said moving has already begun and that the company hopes to be completely in the new space by July. A opening celebration, including live music, is scheduled for Aug. 23.
The new location has room for seven lesson studios.
"It's a nice space with a lot of parking," Ittoop said. "It was a good fit for what we're bringing in there."
The instrument store leaving downtown will leave a major Elm Street storefront empty, but news that the music school will remain was welcome news for Will Stewart, vice president of economic development and advocacy at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Ted Herbert's Music School attracts families downtown, he said.
"It's not just the kids who are there," Stewart said. "It's their parents who are bringing them and picking them up."
Parents who wait while their children take their lessons will stroll through downtown shops, stop and buy a coffee or grab a quick bite to eat, Stewart said.
"The fact that it is staying is good for a host of business and the general vitality of the downtown in general," he said.
Kathy Marchocki contributed to this story.