Dennis' Music receives warm welcome after moving from Ypsilanti to Saline

 08/14/2018 - 02:50
Sean Robinson and Dennis Runyon of Dennis' Music
Sean Robinson and Dennis Runyon recently moved their business, Dennis' Music, from Ypsilanti to Saline.

The owners of Dennis' Music are feeling a warm welcome from the community after moving the shop from Ypsilanti to a new location at 435 E. Michigan Ave. in Saline.

"We've received tremendous support," says partner Sean Robinson. "We felt more welcome here than anywhere we've been in the previous 14 years."

Founder Dennis Runyon started the store in 2004 as a drum studio in Ypsilanti's Depot Town.

"I taught drum for 25 years before I opened the studio, and it just grew from there," Runyon said.

Robinson came on board as a contractor making instrument repairs a little later. After a few years, he bought out Runyon's original partner, and the two have run the shop together since then.

Over time, the store has changed from a drum studio with a small retail space to a larger retail space that offers instruments, method books and other music supplies, a small selection of vinyl records, instrument repair, and lessons in guitar, bass, banjo, beginning keyboard, drums, and light percussion.

Robinson says the move to Saline came about for a few reasons. The shop's lease in Ypsilanti was about to run out, and he and Runyon had to decide if they wanted to stay and make changes or move. They decided that moving would give them a fresh start.

Robinson says their Saline landlord made some improvements before they moved into the space, and then he and Runyon updated the carpet and lighting and added slat walls for hanging up merchandise. They also walled off a back area to house a small repair shop and a cubicle for lessons.

He says the space is a much better fit for the business. They now have room for a lounge where parents can wait for their children who are having music lessons. Additionally, the building, unlike their old location, has wi-fi.

Robinson and Runyon were hoping to open the shop by mid-April but ran into some delays, officially opening the last week in April.

"We were waiting for the final inspection, and once we got that green light, we literally hit the open sign 10 minutes later," Robinson says, with a laugh.

A grand opening in June attracted a few locals and several of Dennis' Music's long-time customers.

Robinson said the move hasn't hurt the shop, since many customers from the Ann Arbor area have to drive about the same distance to the shop in Saline as they did to reach it when it was in Ypsilanti. And the music-loving Saline community has been good to the business.

"We have more of an orchestra market that we didn't have before in Ypsilanti, with more violas, violins, cellos coming in for repairs," he said "We’re getting a lot more guitar players and a lot more drummers, and accessory sales have been up."

Store hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday. The shop is closed on Tuesdays.

For more information, call (734) 217-0547 or visit the store's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ypsiarbormusicdotcom/.

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Sarah Rigg
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. She has worked in community journalism for over 20 years covering education, business, arts & culture and other topics as a reporter, with experience in copy editing, layout, and proofreading.