BEST MUSIC STORE (LOCAL YOKEL) - 2006
8056 Nicollet Ave. S.
Bloomington, MN 55420
It's almost impossible not to be shocked by Groth Music's interior at first glance. The place is spacious enough to park a 747, with room left over for a fleet of golf carts and a course to drive them around on. Give yourself a minute to adjust to the store's scale, and you'll encounter a selection of music-related wares that encompasses all the usual offerings—guitars, keyboards, drums, brass, woodwinds, strings, sheet music—along with djembes, bagpipes, autoharps, and hundreds of other exotic sound-making implements. Even the most obdurate brat-hater is bound to be charmed by the children's instrument section, which mirrors its grownup counterpart in scope, with adjustments for smaller hands and budgets. Toy horns run in the $10 to $15 range; percussion is generally a little cheaper. Even the mighty Playsound Crockoglock—a colorful, toddler-ready glockenspiel mounted on a miniature crocodile—-goes for a measly $10.95. Groth is staffed as well as it's stocked; while never intrusive, the store's platoon of friendly salespeople is always willing to discuss the relative merits of gongs, ukuleles, or items from the store's unparalleled gift department. Where else in the metro does the bathroom tissue selection include rolls printed with staffs, notes, and piano keys? (And, what other music store offers such an absurd item?) Granted, $6.50 a pop seems a bit steep on the surface, but the cost factors out to mere pennies per poop.