Sherry Brenner Ltd.

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''There was a store like this in every neighborhood when I was a kid,'' says Jim Sherry. ''Now they are a dying breed.'' He sells accessories as well as instruments, and some sheet music. Professional musicians make up about half of his clientele, Sherry estimates, but he serves hobbyists as well. And students, of course, including the students of his own music school. Half-hour lessons in violin, viola, cello, flute and guitar are $18 and are given right in the store, in specially built lesson rooms. Sherry, who also operates a larger store at 3145 W. 63d St., first set up shop as an import business in 1950. He says he would prefer a location on the second floor to avoid the crowd other shopkeepers seek to attract: foot traffic. Walk-ins tend to not be likely customers for his merchandise, which ranges from $8 tin whistles up to violins for $400,000. To impose an obstacle for casual browsers, Sherry keeps the front door locked and asks customers to come to the back door.