Let's Save Barry's Magic Shop - Wheaton, Maryland

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Postby Guest » 06/01/06 02:30 AM

I just learned a few hours ago that Barry's Magic Shop at its current location will be closing in the near future. Montgomery County has purchased the property (Barry's was a tenant, not the landlord) to demolish it and build some kind of park.

Barry and Suzie will learn tomorrow the date at which they must be out of the property. I'm sure both of them are in shock and may decide not to continue their business in a new location.

Do you want a magic shop in the D.C. area? Are we faced with the Internet as our only option? Do you support Barry and Suzie?

Let them know what you think and what you can do to help (i.e. Do you know of other affordable locations? Can you help them move when the time comes? Can you encourage them to stay in business?)

A sad day is coming.

Gary Goodwin
Alexandria, VA

Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/01/06 07:42 AM

This is really terrible news.
First Al's,
Now Barry's.
And we will join the other areas in the country with no magic shops close by.
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Postby Guest » 06/01/06 11:45 AM

Let's hope that they are able to regroup at another location.

I travel to DC for work often, and the fact that they are walking distance from a Metro stop has made them a "must visit" on many of those trips.

Postby Guest » 06/01/06 01:22 PM

After 32 years of operation in suburban Maryland, Barry's is the last remaining brick and mortar magic shop in the Washington D.C. area. Like the defunct Al's Magic in Washington, D.C., Barry's Magic Shop has been the hangout of such area notables as Larry West, Jack Birnman, Bob Sheets, Alain Nu, Larry Davidson, etc., as well as a lecture venue that has hosted many of Magic's luminaries. Barry's also housed the acclaimed Psychic Ghost Theatre show that ran successfully for over four years.

It will be a real shame to see such a venerable shop and D.C.-area magic institution disappear "like a mirage on the shimmering sands of the desert."

Joe Z.

Postby Guest » 06/07/06 03:33 PM

WOW I'm shocked. I use to live in Aspen Hill 5 minutes away from Barry's. I now live past Frederick and have a new house, Son, Old Mustang I'm restoring.... So I have been busy. I'm a newbE to the forum and man this is the first topic I see. My son being almost 5 now I was showing him a couple of things and was telling him about the Magic Shop and we was planning a trip there real soon. Man this is sad sad news.

Postby Guest » 06/08/06 11:20 AM

Let's let Barry know that it's worth his while to relocate! I'm a relative newbie to the actual practice of magic, but I've known about Barry's for decades. My first magic trick was bought at Al's 20 years ago, and when I decided it was time to pursue my interest for real, I went looking for Al again. To my dismay, his shop no longer existed. So now I drive nearly an hour across the city to reach Barry's. When Barry's is gone, it'll mean a drive to Baltimore to Denny's (which I stop into on my way to NY, because I can't drive within 10 miles of a magic shop without popping in).
I was hoping that my 6 year old boy would be going to Barry's for the next 20 years or so. I just took him for the first time a couple weeks ago and he bugged out! He loved it! Now he's bugged out because Barry's is closing.
Barry's is an institution in the DC area and needs to be saved. So call or write or email and let him know that we want him to stay around. And stop buying from the internet unless you have to. Pay the extra 2 dollars for whatever it is you need and buy it from a real magic store. And if you DO need to buy from the internet because you can't make it to the store, then buy from those sites that support a real brick and mortar shop.... like www.barrysmagicshop.com !

(p.s. If Barry's closes, who is going to be around to throw the ball for Frankie?)

Postby Guest » 06/08/06 03:02 PM

I was in Barrys shop just a few weekends ago his wife told me all about what the county is doing. It seems they want to tear down just Barrys shop none of the other buildings. And they (the county) say it is for a park? If you have ever been to Barrys you know there is not a lot of room there for a park. What is it, about 30 feet across? Here is my guess if Barrys shop is torn down and that area is left open then there will be a pass-thru for folks wanting to walk from the shops in front to the shops in back (and vice-versa). If you have ever been there you know what I am talking about I would not be surprised if this is being driven by the folks whom own the plaza there sounds fishy to me.

Postby Guest » 06/12/06 08:45 AM


Barry's is one great shop. I have a friend that lives just outside the beltway and we drop by Barry's every time I'm out there to visit. Hopefully they'll hear how important they are, even to li'l ole midwesterners.


Postby Guest » 06/12/06 10:21 AM

Hey Thomas, the county is tearing down most of the old stores on that block. They already did away with that Seafood place called the Anchor.
Hopefully Barry will stay in the area.

Postby Guest » 06/12/06 04:10 PM

Good point... the strips of shops on either side of Barry's ARE much newer... certainly sounds like they could be targeting just the older buildings. I guess I'm a conspiracy theorist at heart :) . Still, the sad truth is it's that old stuff that is affordable (esp. when the tenants have been there since the 70's). Barry's wife told me that the rents in other places around there are way beyond what they can afford. One can only hope they stumble onto a sweet deal and find something within their budget.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/12/06 06:57 PM

The only "sweet deals" are further away where rents are cheaper because demand for the land is less.
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Postby Guest » 06/14/06 02:52 PM

I just received an email from Barry and Susie (as most of you probably have also) announcing the likely demise of Barrys Magic shop. The letter is also posted on the home page of Barry's site at www.barrysmagicshop.com . In the letter they state, "Montgomery County plans to demolish the building which we have leased for 31 years so that it can improve the alley sidewalk which connects Georgia Avenue to the parking lot behind our building." I had a feeling that was what was going on... a pass through to the shops in the back. This is sad... real sad. Please go to Barrys site and read the letter... they are asking for support via letters and such to the local government.

Postby Guest » 06/14/06 06:43 PM

A correction is in order. The County is not tearing down all of the other shops (not now at least). The Anchor Inn was privately owned and is being privately developed.

The project that will demolished Barry's is from a plan sketched out in 1997. At that time it was just an idea of improvements that could be done along with other changes (i.e. add trees, etc.). It was also to include a special walkway across Georgia Avenue but that has not been funded.

The Redevelopment people are doing this now so as to create "trophy" piece that shows that they know how to: 1. buy a property 2. move some one out 3. get things torn down 4. get something built. What is a shame here is that this is such an insubstantial project---building a walkway, big deal. Most redevelopment people in this day and age, get things torn down for more dense development (i.e. condos, office buildings, etc.). This walkway project achieves none of that. Again, it is nothing but cosmetics and is the first project of the new director of the redevelopment authority. No one will benefit from this project except the "trophy" gained by the redevelopment agency director. It is some that he can point to to show what he has accomplished in his first 1.5 years in his job.

Postby Guest » 06/18/06 10:38 AM

There was a nice editorial in today's Washington Post (see link below) written by the vice president of the D.C. area I.B.M.

Don't forget, you can help keep Barry's here. Contact Barry's to show your support and ask how you can help. Do this before it is too late (very soon).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01597.html

Postby Guest » 07/02/06 04:14 PM

Jacob Grier has a full review of the background of this "taking" by the local government here:

Postby Guest » 07/24/06 02:48 AM

Here's a new article in the Washington Post. Be sure to look for the link to a short video of Barry.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00742.html

Washington Post article

Postby Guest » 07/30/06 08:56 AM

What a depressing situation. Being from the area, I am doing as much as I can to help save the shop. However, some people seem like they do not want to help. I asked Steve Brooks to send a mass PM about the issue out, but he rudely never responded. Yet, he still posts the latest special of the week. That disgusts me. Barry's is the last of D.C. and it must be saved.


P.S. Barry now has an alternate plan he is submitting to the county, which would only involve demolishing the little inlit door to his shop, which would open up the side alleyway.

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