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Sunday, May 07, 2017

Let's save The Bookstore in the Grove

Looking for a new owner.



I've been putting this story off for months because I was hoping that a buyer could be found, but it appears that June 30 will be the last day for The Bookstore in the Grove unless a buyer appears before then. Hopefully someone or some entity can come through. It's not a failing business, Felice Dubin, the owner, just wants to move on.
When I went to breakfast there yesterday, I noticed a sign in the window stating that their hours would be shortened - 7 am to 7 pm and that they are not open on Sundays now. They are winding down. I'm almost hyperventilating at the thought.


I am hoping a deal can be met by someone who can afford to give back to the community. What is a community without a bookstore? It's the heart and soul of a place. Our bookstore has meant a lot to us over the years, it's more than just a bookstore, it's a hang out, it's a place to get breakfast and lunch. It needs to be part of the community.

So many events have taken place at The Bookstore over the years. It's been in two locations since it's opening in 2007. It's been a part of the Grove for 10 wonderful years. Now it needs to be saved. The whole purpose of the store was to replace Borders books, which was at the Mayfair for so many years. When they closed, Felice Dubin and Sandy Francis stepped in to give the Grove a bookstore. It was/is a labor of love for them. It was something that they gave back to the community.


I'm hoping that one of the big shot developers or businesses that are taking over Coconut Grove now and who claim to give back to the community, actually will give back. They can take over the place and put a general manager in to run it and hopefully life can go on. The staff is there, they are wonderful, they treat the place as if it's their own. They know the community.

Most of the business comes from the cafe, which is the driving force - breakfast and lunch keep the place running. It's excellent gourmet food, organic and fresh and people come for that.

Outside the original location at Virginia and Grand.

Some people have been interested but they are concerned about the rising rent. As of now, The Bookstore has a very favorable rental agreement and it may tripled or more if someone takes over and signs a new lease. But it will be rented at market value (Grove market value) and that is to be expected. Can enough food and books be sold to accommodate the rent? I think so.

Here's hoping another book store in the area can take over the Grove Bookstore or a business with a community spirit in mind can take it over and run it. It would be a shame to let this gem disappear with so much of the rest of Coconut Grove. It's a quiet oasis which people need.  If you do a search for the bookstore in the Grapevine, you'll see hundreds of stories and events that have taken place there. Let's not lose that.


Felice Dubin is the owner of The Bookstore in the Grove, you may reach her at 305-443-2855. Call. Talk.

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14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be a great loss if it disappears.

May 07, 2017 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my God, what is happening in Miami? Is everything about greedy, loses and bad news?
cristina

May 07, 2017 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who reads books these days, even the president doesn't read.

May 07, 2017 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the owner of Books and Books shown any interest in this Grove location? If he does the cyber squatters will have to relocate to Starbucks because Books and Books does not provide WiFi, since they don't want their tables monopolized for hours by freeloaders. B&B customers also know better than to bring their dogs with them. And B&B actually stocks the book you are looking for. How refreshing!

May 07, 2017 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that our present and hopefully temporary President doesn't read books is a very sad and dangerous indication of the times we live in. Tweeting every thought that comes to mind, while demonstrating lack of understanding of history, geography and science, reinforces the value of books to bring knowledge to our society.

May 07, 2017 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Andy Parrish said...

Felice has earned everyone's thanks and applause for providing a true service to the Grove. But now it's all about the terms of her lease, if it can be assumed. Or the terms of a new lease with the landlord. I'd be interested in being a partner with other Grovites but only if the lease terms allow the new operator to make a return on the time and money invested. This business cycle is long overdue for a major correction. When it happens, lease rates will either come down or we'll see a lot more vacancies...eventually.

May 07, 2017 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Felice well deserves our thanks for putting her money where her mouth is by investing in the Book Shop for all these years that has greatly benefited our Grove. She deserves our appreciation and even a Golden Coconut. With all the new luxury condos, offices and hotel in the never ending pipeline, its certain that the Mayfair owner will triple or quadruple the present rent for that location. No shoe repair shop or affordable restaurant will ever again afford to be located in the Grove. If Barns and Noble or Borders cant afford Grove rents, than neither will an independent book store.

May 07, 2017 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart is breaking to read this post. What a loss it will be to no longer have a bookstore in the Grove. My book club has been meeting there and we have enjoyed it. The bookstore will order the books you want. The food is great and a glass of wine is $5.00. Who cares if our President does not read books? I would hope few people want to model this behavior for their kids! Reading is a joy in my life and I feel pity for anyone who cannot get lost in a book.

May 07, 2017 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Wow! Hearing that the bookstore may be closing made my heart sink. It is such a unique, peaceful, local place that has WONDERFUL food and a nice easy feeling. The person that said "who reads books these days" obviously doesn't live in the Grove or has never been to the bookstore so why make the comment!!

May 07, 2017 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most educated people still read ... mostly on a Kindle, a Nook or a computer ... but 45 is not a learned man ... he is a joke!!

May 07, 2017 10:44 PM  
Blogger Gigi Fernandez said...

Its not Miami, it is the Grove itself. Such an awesome place but people stopped going there because they felt "unwelcomed" but unfortunately there isnt enough local patronage to go around. Everybody needs visitors! But sometimes the Grove takes their "enclosedness" a little too far :(

May 08, 2017 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gigi: Who do you mean was "unwelcomed". Felice and her hardworking staff have always been most friendly and welcoming. The only folks that are not appreciated are cyber squatters and those pet owners that feel they are somehow entitled to bring in their dogs, which is against the law unless they are a trained and legitimately registered service pet.

May 08, 2017 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as I support independent stores and initiative, I agree with Gigi. I stopped going there despite being a regular customer, because honestly, Felice is not the nicest person to deal with. I've been connected to the bookstore since they opened, my kids have participated in the La Plume contest, I mean, I have been there and bought at a certain point a LOT of my gifts there. Everytime I have to ask something, or just even pay to her at the cashier, she is not nice, yet I would say, rather bitter, and I'm not referring this happened just now that she is having this lease problem. The staff is nice, I have to say.
I wish books & books would take over.
Amalia Caputo

May 10, 2017 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope that efforts are being made by BID, Chamber of Commerce, Village Council and Mayfair Management to motivate Books and Books to establish in Coconut Grove. Their sales staff reads books, knows where they are located and recommends the best reads to customers. They construct 1-2 highly professional and always enlightening author presentation most every night of the week. They attract some of the top authors. They have a great selection of eats at moderate prices. The service is polite and expedient. The customers of Books and Books know better than to bring their pets in the shop or to even tie them up outside and risk a customer being barked at or tripping over a leash. Getting Books and Books into Coconut Grove would be one of the best things to happen in our Village.

May 13, 2017 5:44 PM  

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