Baltimore Insider

Flash mob marks impending close of Hampden book store and gallery

How do you mark the closing of a beloved book store, art gallery and performance space?

A flash mob through the streets of Hampden.


Friends of the Minas Gallery surprised owners Minas Konsolas and Peggy Hoffman by singing "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" on Sunday.  The store will soon close after 22 years so Konsolas can devote more time to his art work.

The group tooted kazoos, shook tambourines and beat a drum made out of a water cooler much to the surprise and delight of Konsolas and Hoffman, as captured by this video by Bill Hughes.


Author and auctioneer Nancy Murray organized the event as a tribute to the couple's "commitment to the community and the arts."

"The reason so many people came out... is because Peggy and Minas are the epitome of warmth and welcome," Murray said in an email. "When anyone came into their store, they weren't made to feel like a potential sale, but a potential friend."

Murray arranged for a few friends to be "plants" inside the store.  She popped in with a bottle of champagne to toast the couple as the store was about to close, and the other people all whipped out champage glasses.

Then the drumming and kazoo playing started.

Hoffman and Konsolas step out, blink back tears, and start dancing together.  It's a beautiful tribute to friendship, a local institution and Baltimore at its best.

(H/T to Bill Hughes for his post and video)