For over a decade, Metropolis Music, 240 Newark Ave., has been helping locals from the Village neighborhood and beyond buy instruments, learn how to play them and fix ’em when they need repairs.
Owner Mark Dalzell, who used to live in the Village until he moved to South Orange in 2013, studied as a classical violist at the University of Delaware but has a varied taste in music.
“I’m passionate about anything different, whether it’s world music, medieval/renaissance music or whatever. I currently play in a band that switches every week from anything from funk to industrial to classical Indian music to chance and noise. It’s a lot of fun to keep experimenting,” he said.
He tries to make his store’s stock just as diverse.
“I try to stock a little of everything to cater to whatever people might need. I have a lot of experience playing, building and repairing nearly every kind of instrument there is and I use that to carefully stock instruments and accessories that are the best quality and value,” he said. “I don’t have a stock room here at the store so it forces me to keep a small, fast moving stock on hand. That allows me to quickly clear out items that aren’t popular and get in things that customers request.”
The biggest seller at Metropolis Music, however, are the lessons they offer, taught by several different teachers.
“We currently have 15 teachers and about 200 students a week coming in for lessons on a dozen different instruments,” said Dalzell, adding, “We also offer repairs for nearly any instrument you can think of, and I build custom electric guitars and other instruments as well.”
With all its products and services, Metropolis Music has become a go-to music shop in Jersey City, and while the sign on its glass door jokes, “Sorry, we’re open,” no one’s looking for an apology.
“I’d like to continue doing just what we’ve been doing for 11 years: offering a variety of good quality instruments, lessons and repairs,” said Dalzell, who attributes his success to community support.
“I like the neighborhood feel and the support we get from the local residents,” he said. “I made up a Google map once with a dot on every address that had either purchased an instrument or taken a lesson here in the past 10 years, and nearly every house within all of Downtown had a dot on it, and some houses have quite a few dots!”
Metropolis Music is located at 240 Newark Ave. For more information, visit MetropolisNJ.com or call 201-222-8441.
Village Business Spotlight: For over 100 years, small businesses have played a vital role in shaping the Village. The Village Neighborhood Association is committed to bringing awareness and support to those businesses that embrace the long-standing values and enduring community spirit of our neighborhood.
Photography by Mike McNamara