The “musical doors” of Evans Music have closed, but the owners of the building are breathing new life into the 1880s structure.
The Evans family has owned the Third Street building since 1986, when they purchased it from Joe and Taffy Benson and moved their music store from the back (parking lot) of 4748 Washington Square. The business operated for 40 years, selling instruments and accessories, giving lessons and holding recitals in downtown White Bear Lake.
“Hopefully his students, patrons, faculty and staff will have fond memories of their experiences at Evans,” said Cathy Evans, adding that they understood a plan to continue music education was being worked out in the region.
According to Evans, the company’s current owners, Gary and Susan Dupre, have liquidated the inventory, including the display cases. The couple, longtime musicians and instructors who bought the business in 1997, declined to be interviewed after news of the store’s closure was announced. Their last day was December 31.
“We are now in the process of restoring the interior of the building, taking out the classrooms, exposing the sheet metal ceiling, etc. to accommodate the new tenants who happen to be our son Dan and his wife Amanda,” said wrote Evans in an email. The couple own Haus Theory in North St. Paul, which sells vintage and mid-century modern furniture and homewares.
Once the restorations are done, they plan to invite the historical society to check it out. In “Looking Back at White Bear Lake”, by Cynthia Vadnais, Joseph Burkard’s blacksmith shop is listed as the first occupant of the two-story brick building. Centerville’s first blacksmith, he moved to White Bear Lake in 1875. Hamilton Hardware, owned by Hugh Hamilton, also occupied the building and in the late 1970s it was the home of Quirk of Fate.
The family plans to place a large sign saying “Thank you” to the community in the front window along with farewell messages from former teachers and staff. COVID prevents any type of party, Evans said.
A “festive teardown” of the Evans Music sign will likely take place in March when renovations are complete, with the store opening in the spring.