Downtown co-op opens
Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 00:12
The UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center, which opened last week on Monday, is already bringing in many visitors with its numerous attractions – and they’re just getting started.
Suzy Staubach, the manager of the new bookstore, said last Monday “was a soft opening...we’re still doing things. We’re still getting books in. We just got our chairs (on Dec. 2). The café is still being built. The puppetry museum is still being built.”
The bookstore is conveniently located across the street from Geno’s Grille, and open every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. At the entrance, customers are greeted with a wide array of UConn and Huskies clothing and other items including sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants, T-shirts, hats, ornaments, chocolate, mugs, bottles as well as basketballs and soccer balls.
Towards the back of the store, there is a large children section for them to look around and explore any books they find interesting. Nearby, is a black box theatre which the bookstore will share with the neighboring Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry that they can use for a performance area.
According to Staubach, once it passes inspection, they should have access to that by the end of the week. Behind the children’s area, the bookstore has a complete selection that provides a wide array of art supplies.
Staubach said since part of the wall that connects the bookstore to the lobby of the puppetry museum they will also be selling some of their gift items. Next to that, there is a selection of different magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
For books, they also have copies of best-sellers, books by faculty authors, UConn Reads and Co-op picks.
“We have a few gift items, Staubach said, “but we’re going to have some more.”
So far, Staubach said the turnout of customers and visitors to the new Co-op bookstore has been pretty good.
“A lot of people have been coming in, she said, “even when no one was around, people were coming in.”
As Staubach mentioned, there is a café, which is located on the left of the children and arts sections. It is called Le Petit Marche Café, which is French for The Little Market Café. Once open, it will sell assorted crêpes, baguettes and French pastries.
Ben Mason, a 1st-semester pre-teaching secondary education major, said he and his friends visited the store for more than an hour “to check it out really quickly and just got lost ... We love this place.”
Mason said the almost-finished café will be their new Friday night destination. He also said what makes it different from the original bookstore is “it’s cozy” and “is more welcoming than the other Co-op.”
Recently, the bookstore held several events, including a beat poetry reading on Nov. 30 for Small Business Saturday. For the attendance, Staubach said “it wasn’t huge, but it was good.”
On Monday, the bookstore hosted a “Cider Monday” event where passers-by could stop in for some cider and explore the store.