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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Bookstore, is a bookstore!

The Bookstore was a cafe, now it is a bookstore. Does that make sense?

I had been out of town for a couple of weeks so I had not seen the "new" Bookstore.  I finally got to see it yesterday. I was sort of speechless when I walked in, I wasn't sure what to think.

Now it looks like a bookstore. In the past it was more of a cafe with a bookstore.

It appears like it is 90% books - 10% cafe. In the past it was 90% cafe - 10% bookstore.

The Bookstore itself is clean and uncluttered. No more tchotchkes fill the place. It's all about the books. Even from the outside, the windows look bigger, cleaner.

Gone is the extensive menu that we have gotten used to. No more poke bowls, salmon or huge burgers, which is surprising because I would venture to say that daily for lunch, you would see big burgers coming out of the kitchen non-stop, along with all sorts of poke bowls. I personally would get the Healthy Hen bowl, or a variation, almost daily. The counter is cleaner, you can see in this photo above, there is not all that prepared food in cases. It almost appears as it did when it first opened in this new location a few years back.

The past menu was way too big, it was four huge pages of endless listings, you could get lasagna or fish or burgers or brisket or basically anything. The Bookstore was known for Waffle Sunday and French Toast Saturdays. And it was known for its healthy organic items from quinoa to homemade Greek yogurt. I'm not sure why the most popular menu items were scrapped and it appears as if the menu is starting from scratch but I know they are working on adding items.

The current menu is small. There are breakfast items like croissants, quiche, eggs and avocado toast with a few more items. Prices go from $2.75-$3.00. They have their famous empanadas ($3.50) each, one of the things that was a bookstore favorite.

For lunch, there is a BLT ($11), Chopped Salad ($13), Local Burrata Salad ($14), Tuna Melt ($10.00) and Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($12.00).

Of course there are all sorts of coffees, teas and juices. The water and soda cooler is far away from the cafe now, it's next to the book counter where they ring up the books see it in the photo below? I'm not sure why, but it's almost as if they made changes, just for the sake of making changes, like with the deletion of the menu items (especially those items named after the regulars).

I get what Amanda De Seta, the new owner is doing, she is bringing us an upscale bookstore with a sleeker and cleaner feel. In a way, it fits the new chrome and glass that is filling the neighborhood.  

I love the fact that the whole staff seems to still be there. They all welcomed me by name which made me feel at home. 

A friend who questioned the changes said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Which I understand, but let's give it a chance. If it wasn't for Amanda, there would be no bookstore today. So let's give thanks for that. I did ask Amanda a few questions via email but have not received a response yet.

On a personal note. I miss Felice. A lot. And weekend mornings won't be the same without Roger there.

But the bottom line is this - we were devastated when we thought The Bookstore was closing, it's such a major part of the community. Now that is has been saved, we need to support it. 

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Grovite Astrid said...

I personally welcome that it is a bookstore again. Many times the strong smell of food kept me away from going there for the books! We have so many other places for food in the Grove!
Thank you Amanda.

July 11, 2017 6:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I hope that it is still in redesign mode! It's a bit too empty and cold -- not enough books/objects to make it feel like the cozy place it was. The modernization is welcome but right now it doesn't look very inviting.

July 11, 2017 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Pat said...

I am glad that the Bookstore is open and it nice to be able to get something small to eat while you are shopping. Good Luck to the new owners. Hope everyone supports the Bookstore.

July 11, 2017 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went there Sunday for breakfast. I love how open it is and how they are utilizing all the window space for tables. They need to add some music (maybe carpeting) so its not so quiet and echoey.

July 11, 2017 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, Coral Gables' Books and Books should be called Foods and Books.

July 11, 2017 12:43 PM  
Blogger Virginia Grovite said...

It was broken... and now it's fixed. Sometimes change is good. Bring in new people with different visions.... yes, we can survive change and relish it...

July 11, 2017 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that you all are hoping the best for the bookstore, but let's face it, I doubt they will be able to pay the rent and all other expenses by just selling books. Most people were there for the food. Without the food, I doubt this place will last.

July 13, 2017 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so grateful that the bookstore was saved, as a fellow Grovite I am thrilled. But we miss the empanadas and the soups made by the wonderful Maria! I hope sometime in the near future we can see those items on the menu that we (the regulars) hold near and dear to our hearts & stomachs!

July 15, 2017 11:41 AM  

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