Monday, August 27, 2018

The Writer's Block Bookstore & Café - Anchorage, AK

The Writer's Block Bookstore & Café, Anchorage, AK
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It is so refreshing to me when I get to visit newly opened bookstores around the country.  I've been fortunate to see many of these newbies and this one falls squarely (it's a block!  Get it?!) into that category.  A wonderful team of four women conceived an idea a few years ago of opening a bookstore in Anchorage.  Their vision required that the space have a cafe that offered beer, wine, coffee drinks, and food, an area for events including live music, and books.  Mission accomplished on all of those requirements and I think as this store evolves you'll see other things enter the picture.

The Block has only been open for about 7 months now.  It is enduring the growing pains and challenges that all new indies encounter but it is slowly starting to show some growth.  They offer all new books in a very attractive one-level setting.  They also have a few sidelines including some unique jewelry hand made by one of the store's own booksellers, Jessa.  As Vered, one of the store owners told me, there are lots of artists, writers, and musicians in Anchorage and Alaska and this store features works by many of them.  But the part of the business that is doing the best so far is the cafe.  Amber is one of the reasons for the cafe's success with her great work in the kitchen.  Everything offered is made from scratch and locally produced.  The versatile combinations of the store's business model is finally filling a void of something that's been missing in Anchorage.

The newness of the store means people are still discovering and hearing about it.  It's definitely a popular stop for artistic and creative talents of all mediums and they see many customers from the nearby military families.  Tourists are also finding their way here but the word will continue to spread about this indie.  They have a great location on the very busy Spenard Rd., between the airport and downtown and close to many nearby hotels.  In my opinion, this store is poised for a long, successful run.

I met Jessa, Amber, and 50% of the ownership, Vered and Kathy.  These people know their stuff and their combined talents are what make me very optimistic about their future.

Ok Anchorage, time to step-up.  I know you believe in "shop local'' and now you have a great place to do it.  Many of you haven't been here yet so time to check out this gem before the tourists beat you to it.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Woman In Cabin 10, Ruth Ware.  I'm late to the party on this one and now I understand the hype.  The mystery of a missing woman and possible murder but nobody on the small ship believes Lo, the protagonist, who insists something is wrong and that she isn't losing her mind.  The ending is very Dan Brown-esque with some of the unbelievable twists and the conclusion of the story has another unanswered mystery.  Recommended.  

CURRENTLY READING:  The Unchangeable Spots Of Leopards, Kristopher Jansma. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Name Of The Wind, Patrick Rothfuss.

View looking into the store from the main entrance.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  

An overview and partial look at the cafe.  

Yes, yes, and yes.  Just try to resist one of these.  

Borealis Baubles made by Jessa, talented bookseller AND artisan.  

Some nice YA offerings.  

The area rug in the picture is on an elevated stage, a very nice events area.  

A few of the children's books available.  

The store has a good assortment of fiction, including many new and popular releases.  They'll continue to expand their inventory as the store evolves and grows.  

One of my favorite things about this store are all the wonderful places to sit.  Grab your coffee, pastry, a comfortable seat, and sample a book.  

Another cozy and comfy seating area.  Regular readers my recognize the celebrity lounging in this area.  Yes, that's my mom.  

All local and all available here at the cafe.  

Or consider some wine.  

I would strongly encourage you to find something on this menu and hang out.  This bookstore and cafe have a great vibe.  

Another overview of the store looking toward the front entrance.  

L-R in the front, Vered and Jessa.  And Kathy in the back, three of the wonderful people you'll meet at The Writer's Block Bookstore & Cafe.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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