North Carolina Begins To Reopen As Extended Stay At Home Order Expires

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Another Charlotte landmark is going through changes.

After seven decades, the owners of Howren Music Company announced last week that North Carolina’s longest-running family owned and operated music store was sold to Music and Arts, effective July 17.

The sale ends a 71-year run in Charlotte as one of the city’s only stores offering music instruments for sale or rent. One of the many businesses in the region “calling it quits” after a hard-fought year dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a bittersweet situation, but we’re really looking forward to our next chapter.” Dennis Howren told WBT’s Bo Thompson Morning Show on Monday. “So a door closes and God will open another one and we’re looking forward to it.”

The Howren’s are stepping away but the doors aren’t closing behind them with a transition to Music and Arts taking over the Howren brand.

“The lockdown was really rough on us,” Julie Howren said. “When schools didn’t have a lot of school bands that was really rough for a small business to handle. If something should come up again, (Music and Arts) would be much better to handle situations like that than small businesses. That did play into the decision.”

“Music and Arts is a good company. They will take good care of our customers. …I have no doubt about that,” she added.

Dennis and his brother, Greg, invested a combined 96 years to help keep music alive for many generations of Charlotteans. They now take a vision passed down by their father and will pass it on for others to enjoy.

Listen to the entire interview with Dennis and Julie Howren below.