Yesterday afternoon marked the soft opening of Gramercy Books in Bexley, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Although as bookstore founder Linda Kass, author of Tasa’s Song, told PW, “people have been walking in for a week whenever we don’t lock the door.”
The 3,000 sq. ft. general bookstore, which includes a 450 sq. ft. café that is leased to Kittie’s Cakes, will hold its grand opening in six weeks. Poet Maggie Smith and bestselling children’s book author R.L. Stine will be among the featured authors at the January 27-29 event.
Long-time bookselling professional John Gaylord is partnering with Kass as general manager. He is also a part owner of the bookstore and has opened and operated 24 bookstores, including 15 Little Professor Book Centers.
Kass said that it has long been her “abstract dream” to create a warm and welcoming place with books. The idea of becoming a bookstore owner was spurred by a visit that she and her husband, developer Frank Kass, whose Gramercy Partners LLC acquired the corner where the bookstore is located, made 20 years ago. At the time, they visited Sundog Books in the Florida Panhandle and "loved it."
“There is no better place than within the walls of a bookstore to foster communication and engage our communities,” Kass said. “Gramercy Books seeks to be that kind of community builder.”
As for the name of the bookstore and the condo building in which it is located, Kass finds them fitting. While for some they may hearken back to New York’s Gramercy Park, for her it’s about the original French meaning: big thanks or gratitude.