“Happily ever after” may be premature. But the immediate future of the beloved Bookstore in the Grove is a lot brighter today than it was a month ago, when the store’s owner announced its doors were closing for good due to rising rent.
LointerHome, the real estate developer spearheading several residential and commercial projects around Coconut Grove, has purchased the 7,500-square-foot store at 3390 Mary St. from owner Felice Dubin. The sale closed on Friday. The price was not disclosed.
The store will remain open during an extensive makeover, which will be performed from 5 p.m. to midnight after business hours. The creative studio Louis1978 will revamp the interior design and decor. Renovations started over the holiday weekend and will be completed by fall.
A new menu for the in-store kitchen has been created by former Eating House chef de cuisine Adriana Egozcue. Offerings include baked goods, vegetable quiches, empanadas and sandwiches. The café, supervised by former Eating House catering and sales manager Amber Rapicavoli, will serve coffee, smoothies and juices. Libations such as beer and wine will be added soon.
Future offerings will include a pop-up oyster bar, a weekend seafood brunch and other foods currently hard to find in the Grove.
Amanda De Seta, founder of LointerHome, says she first heard that the bookstore was closing from her personal trainer, who put her in touch with Dubin.
“Her rent was going up, but after reviewing her books and her balance sheets, I realized it was still a great business opportunity,” De Seta said. “As a developer, I see where the Grove is heading, with new residential towers being built and high-worth individuals coming in. I view the space not just as a bookstore or cafe, but as a community center. The Grove doesn’t need a big-box anything. It needs a quirky, well-curated place to buy books. I use Amazon all the time, because it’s very convenient. But I also enjoy going to the Bookstore with my 8-year-old daughter and spending time there browsing.”
De Seta says she plans to solicit feedback from the store’s customers in the coming weeks to figure out which kinds of books to stock and increase sales. She also hopes to work with local brands of all kinds of products, such as olive oil, to sell their wares there.
An open house celebration will be held July 14, with free beer and wine.
The Bookstore in the Grove, which opened 10 years ago, was destined to close in June, Dubin told the Miamiu Herald; her lease was about to expire, her rent had been doubled and she longed to retire and spend more time with her granddaughter. Dubin, 68, opened the store in 2007 at a smaller location on the western side of Mayfair Plaza before moving into the current space in 2014.
“This bookstore holds a special place in my heart, and in the hearts of many in the community,” Dubin said in a statement. “I’m happy to be moving on knowing that it’s in good hands.”
LointerHome has several ongoing projects in the Grove, including a five-story Class A office building on 27th Avenue and the residential Glass House Project, which incorporates art into family-style starter homes.