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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Flavors from the past... » » Trying to remember the name of shop in Ellicott City, MD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

noahrobd
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I grew up in the 80's in Pikesville, MD (in Baltimore County). On occassional weekends my dad took me to a magic shop in Ellicott City, MD. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name and I'm trying to find out what happened to it. Two years ago I took a drive through Ellicott city to try to find the magic shop but couldn't. And there is no listing of it that I can find.

I remember they were in Old Ellicott city at one point and in New Ellicott City at one point. There was a fire and that's when they moved from one location to the other, but I don't remember which location they were at first and which one they were at next.

Does anyone know the shop I'm talking about?
DonDriver
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Noahrobd,
Phil Thomas owned the Yogi Magic Mart in Baltimore.I worked there when the shop was at 310 N.Charles St.Phil had a fire about 1980 and moved it to 217 N.Charles St.He retired and sold out about 1983 or so.The guy that brought the shop moved it to Ellicott City and keep the name.A few years later some arsonist burned several old building's down in Ellicott City and the Yogi Magic Mart was one of them.You said he moved the shop after the fire.I didn't know that as I was living in Las Vegas at that time.I do know that Kenso open a shop on south Charles St.in Baltimore and soon after got the name Yogi Magic Mart.Can't remember the dates on this.Micky Ford worked for Kenso as well as for Phil Thomas.You might remember him.
So I'm sure who ever got the shop from Phil and moved it to Ellicott City is long out of business.
If you want more info stop my Denny's Magic shop Essex Md.I'm sure Denny will know more about it.
Hope this helped,
Don
noahrobd
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Don, thanks for the info. I hadn't been practicing magic for many years, but I've recently decided to get back into it. When looking around for magic shops I did visit a shop called Ken-Zo's Yogi Magic Mart at 1025 South Charles St. A young magician and venquiladrist named Dexter I believe waited on me. I didn't realize the shop I visited had the same (or similar) name as the Ellicott city shop. So does the Yogi Magic Mart in existance now not have any relation to the orriginal owned by Phil Thomas, sold and moved to Ellicott City, other than the name?

I will definately check out Denny's Magic shop and ask Denny about this. Thanks again.
DonDriver
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Noahrobd,
Ken-zo has nothing to do with Phil Thomas and never did.I heard Ken-zo got a divorce and lost the shop but he might be reopen now.Dexter is Ken's son.Dexter was on that Lance Burton TV special several years ago with all kid magicians.
Since I posted yesterday I got my Jan.Linking Ring magazine.There is a story in it about Phil Thomas and the Yogi Magic Mart.
Shows you what a small world we live in.
Later,Don
noahrobd
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Hey Don,

My Dad finally jogged his memory and said he believe the name of the store we went was Main Street Magic Emporium. This sounded more correct to me. Sure enough doing a Google search with Magic Emporium and Ellicott City came up with but a single web page of a woman's resume. The resume states she worked at a Magic store in 1988 which sure enough was called "Main Street Magic Emporium" in Ellicott City, MD.
Have you ever heard this name? I haven't gotten a chance to go to Denny's Magic shop yet to ask Denny, but I wanted to know if you had any familiararity with this name.

Thanks, Noah
DonDriver
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Noah,
About 1985 I visited Baltimore and Phil,Ann(his wife)and Micky Ford drove to Ellicott City to visit the shop.Now that you said "Magic Emporium" it was like I just got hit on the head with a hammer.That WAS the name of the shop.
Funny how after so many years you think you are sure of something till you hear the RIGHT name.So my mistake(give an old man a break,it was 20 years ago and I was only there once).Ken of Kenzo had nothing to do with Phil Thomas but when he changed the name to Yogi Magic Mart(not sure if he paid Phil for that name) he did have Phil come down and do a ribbion cutting to open the shop.Ken also restarted the Yogi Magic Club that Phil had for many many years.
Phil also started the Magic Dealers Asso.that is still strong today.
Later,Don
noahrobd
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I finally got over to Denny and Lee's Magic Studio in Essex. They're definately great people to buy magic from. I also by doing a web search found the resume of a woman who used to work at Main Street Magic. It seems as if I was wrong about the shop re-opening after the Ellicott City fire. I contacted the woman who I found who used to worked there for one summer and she said that a few years after she had worked there someone had asked to use the bathroom in the basement and from the bathroom lit the place to flames.

According to Denny, Ken of Ken Zo didn't really have true permission to use the Yogi Magic Mart name. I'm told that Phil Thomas wasn't all there mentally in his later years and supposedly Ken took advantage of his condition to get his "permission" to use the name Yogi Magic Mart.

Anyway I definatly will be going back to Denny for purchases. With the dying of brick and mortar magic shops, I consider it fortunate that Baltimore has at least three real magic shops as of now. Having been out of magic for so long (and recently returning to it) I never realized, nor would have expected that there were that many magic shops locally.

Thanks again Don for all your help.

Sincerely,
Noah
DonDriver
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Hi Noah,
Your more than welcome.Thank you for starting this thread and bringing back very found memories for me of Phil and Ann Thomas and working at the Yogi Magic Mart.They were without questions the best days of my long magic life.
Later,Don
PS Please be sure to tell Denny I said hello,thanks.
Don
Danny Boy
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Just a little correction... Dexter is the name of the vent doll used by Spencer, Ken's son. He has been on I think about 10 national broadcasts and numerous newspaper articles. Denny has a great shop in vegas too if you find your way over to 5115 Industrial.

Dan
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Bill Rubie
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The Main Street Magic Emporium in Ellicott City, Maryland was a great store in concept.
They were in the middle of one of Maryland’s busiest tourist attractions.The owners were from the old Phil Thomas’s Yogi Magic Mart on Charles Street.

They offered a large selection of effects for the amateur as well as the professional.

You could book a “Magical Birthday Party” for your child, take magic lessons or just hang out. What a great formula this was for a magic shop.

Unfortunately, poor management, the high cost of doing business in Ellicott City and too many chiefs were several of the reasons it was not a booming business. Everyone that worked in Ellicott City in the early 80’s knew that the, “New Guys”, were having problems.

In 1984, a fire that destroyed six building, which included Main Street Magic Emporium was, ruled arson. The point of origin was Main Street Magic.
When a person starts off a factual statement with "They Say"...

Please ask, who are they?



Bill
magicofkirtley
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You're right about "too many Chiefs". John had that problem when he was manager and when I took over when John left. I had the same problem. One person, who will remain nameless, had the ear of the owner at that time. By 1986/87 I had enough also and left. Pursuing a career in programming. The owner wanted to turn it into a Spencer Gifts type of environment. To this day, my favorite job is always Yogi Magic Mart/Main Street Magic. Loved it. Phil Thomas, John Ekin and Dave Roehmer were my mentors. I learned a lot from them. One last thing. Main Street Magic burned down around 1988/89. I was working for Maryland State Highway. Chris Mosner called me and told me about the shop burning down. All the magicians no longer worked there. Jim Van Liew who was the last Magician Manager had even left. There was some guy working in there that had no magical experience. I heard he let someone use the bathroom, which was locared in the basement and that person set it on fire. The fire in 1984 was a completely different event. We were still Yogi Magic on Charles Street.
Kevin D. Kirtley
Professional Magical Entertainment Specialist
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