Mars music superstore opening in Catonsville

Maryland Watch

December 01, 1998

Mars, an acronym for Music and Recording Superstore, will open its second Baltimore-area location -- and 18th store nationally -- today in Catonsville.

The 35,000-square-foot store on Powers Lane, in a former Circuit City location west of Rolling Road and U.S. 40 West, will be designed around a concert stage and will feature learning centers, demonstration rooms for musicians and a recording studio. Shoppers at Mars are greeted by "Martians" who allow customers to bang on drums or croon into dozens of plugged-in microphones.

The Florida-based musical instrument and equipment chain opened its first area store in Parkville in May, promising an extensive-enough product line to instantly outfit a dozen rock bands and an orchestra. The company, which got its start in Tampa in 1997, plans a total of 50 stores by the end of 2000, with another two or three in the Baltimore-Washington region.

Founder Mark Begelman, who had helped found Office Depot and served as that chain's president until 1995, said he believes that musical instruments and accessories can be sold in much the same way as office supplies.

Pub Date: 12/01/98

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