Since signing the lease, our lives have been in a whirlwind. The outpouring of local Ann Arbor support is both awesome and incredible. The community has been fantastic. We apologize if we haven’t responded to all the messages and comments and questions — we’ve been working hard with our contractors to get this bookstore as open as soon as possible.
The big question: When?
We’re hoping early March. A lot of that depends on a variety of factors, including construction and build-out of the space. We are doing some improvements including a complete cosmetic redesign of the basement. Our store will be two levels of 1300 square foot space for a total of 2600. So, if you walk by Washington and 4th Ave. and peek inside, you’ll see an upstairs space that is an open, exposed brick, tin-ceiling cathedral of happiness and wonder. But if you peak down the staircase, the basement is (right now) a dungeon of gloom and doom and vague creepiness. Our challenge the next six weeks is to brighten up that dungeon, make it inviting, and turn it into a destination for book lovers and writers (as well as exorcising any ghosts who may still linger).
For those unfamiliar, here is a shot of the upstairs space. In the back will be a new bathroom, and we’ve worked with an architect to design our floor plan and general layout. It’s going to be an open, modern, well-lit upstairs space with a children’s section near the rear entrance.
Aaaaand here is the scary basement. While we could turn this into a nice haunted house area for children, haunted houses don’t sell books. We imagine it eventually as having a very cool, cozy vibe with possibly some seating and a space for groups to meet (book clubs, etc). But it’s going to take quite a bit of work. We’re generally cleaning it up, redoing the flooring, adding lots of lights, and painting. So, in short, a total transformation. We wish we had a magic wand to wave, but instead we’ve got some hard work cut out of us. Stay tuned…