, Salem, MA


August 21, 2013

A new look for an old business

Marconi Radio has survived by changing with the times — including its public mural

BEVERLY — The security grate at Marconi Radio used to be, to put it bluntly, ugly.

The grate, rolled down each night to protect the family-owned electronics repair and cellphone shop, didn’t do much to spruce up the business or its Gloucester Crossing neighborhood.

Owner Anthony Linares Jr. knew it needed a new look. But what?

Then in June, he noticed a large mural being painted on the side of the Casa de Moda gift shop on Cabot Street as part of Beverly Main Streets’ Arts Fest.

“Every day I drove by, I would say, ‘My goodness, this guy is fantastic,’” Linares said. He tracked down the artist through Casa de Moda owner Don Preston and learned that Philip Coleman, who lives in Beverly, has painted 100 murals, mostly in Nevada and California. Locally, in addition to Casa de Moda, he created the mural for the Leatherworkers Museum in Peabody.

Linares commissioned Coleman to spruce up the shop, and the newly painted mural is getting rave reviews. Anthony Linares Sr., who founded the business as a repair shop in 1979, was in town this week and thought the artwork was “beautiful.”

It’s another instance of the way the small shop has adapted, managing to survive and thrive, despite competition from numerous cellphone stores and other electronics retailers.

“We’ve been changing with the times,” said Linares, who notes, for instance, that they no longer service beepers, as no one carries them anymore.

“We still do a little bit of everything that we have always done,” he adds.

In 2000, Linares, a Georgetown resident, took over from his father, and he still fixes the electronics himself. He has been working in the shop since he was 15, and basically taught himself how to repair things. He’s been doing so for more than 30 years.

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