Monday, September 5, 2016

Savoy Bookshop & Café - Westerly, RI

Savoy Bookshop & Cafe - Westerly, RI
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What.  A.  Store.  If you want to see a blueprint of how to design a new bookstore, this is the place to go.  I think it is breathtakingly beautiful and the pictures below won't do it justice.  It's even more amazing when you see the before pictures of this space, a space that sat empty for many years after a life as the Savoy Hotel.  The people who designed this interior and envisioned the bookstore are to be congratulated.  If there are awards given for bookstore design, this place should win one.  

Everything in the two-level store is visually attractive.  I think the woodwork, the shelving, the dark wood colors, the lighting, the craftsmanship are all outstanding.  Hard wood floor on the main level and old school square tiles in the basement level where you'll find the children's department.  The combination of the woodwork, original bricks, fixtures and railings, give this place a wonderful ambiance.  There is a coffeeshop right on the main level of the store with moderate seating capacity.  And speaking of seating, the leather couch and chairs are beautiful AND comfortable.  It is very obvious that this store took a lot of work and effort and the results, along with the great people who work there, are a quintessential bookstore experience.

All the books on the center shelves of both levels are on wheels allowing the store to host events on either level.  There are a few sidelines here, mostly the typical ones including greeting cards, journals, and calendars to name a few.  You can easily find free parking right on the street near the store.  This is a sister store of Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT, only 15 minutes away and clearly, Annie P. who owns and manages both stores has a talent for what she does.  

Some of the fairies live behind this door.  
Gretchen and Jess were great to talk to during my visit.  The history here is short; the store has only been open for 4 months.  But I think this is another great sign for the independent bookstore resurgence and I think the future here is blindingly bright!

There's no bookstore cat but there are fairies that live in the store, in three tiny little places. Their homes are behind the three tiny doors spaced around the store.  Kids can find these and write notes to the fairies.  And sometimes the fairies even write them back!  Is there any doubt that a trip to a bookstore is a magical experience?!  If you're in the Westerly area, don't walk, SPRINT to this terrific new bookstore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  How About Never - Is Never Good For You? - Bob Mankoff.  Author's "memoir-ish" look at his career in cartooning and how he became the cartoon editor at the New Yorker magazine.  Includes lots of those great New Yorker cartoons. If you know someone who likes the New Yorker or is an aspiring cartoonist, get them this book.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  Underground In Berlin, Marie Jalowicz Simon.  

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Red Tree, Caitlín R. Kiernan.

This historic building was the Savoy Hotel.  After sitting empty for many years, the main level and lower level were restored and became the Savoy Bookshop & Cafe.  

Front display window.  

The beautiful front entrance.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  You can see a portion of the cafe to the right.  Seating for the cafe is toward the rear.  
Hogwarts is big after this summer's Harry Potter release.  Notice also the old school ceiling.  I see this in many indies that have found a home in historical buildings.  

A great display of staff picks.  

Another great overview of the main level, including the ceiling and lighting fixtures.  

Begin your search for great fiction straight ahead.  

One of my favorite views in any bookstore.  

If these seats are taken, go to the front of the store and find a great leather couch and chair set.  

Some of the sidelines available near the check out counter.  

A partial view of the cafe seating area.  

Order a beverage here at the cafe counter and then find a book to browse.  

A few of the greeting cards available.  

View looking from the back of the store and the cafe seating area toward the front entrance.  

The craftsmanship throughout the store is fantastic, including this stairway down to the lower level and the children's section.  

View of the lower level.  

A portion of the children's section.  

Looking upstairs from the lower level.  

This is where one of the fairies lives.  You can see the notes around the door that kids have left.   Look around the store and see if you can find these three doors.  

I tried to get a picture of the fairies' interior.  You'll need to visit the store and see this for yourself.  The design and interior are superb.  I can't get over the detailed woodwork in this tiny doorway.  I didn't see any fairies in this little house but I know they're there!

The view of the fairies' doorway from my standing position.  Notice the notes to the fairies around the doorway.  

With Jess on the left and Gretchen on the right, two of the fine booksellers at Savoy Bookshop & Cafe.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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