New Bookstore on Main Street Replacing . . . and Respecting . . . the Raconteur

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pix of new store by mark harris.jpg

(Photo: Mark Harris)

Karen Winters, who grew up here and returned here to bring up her three children, and her husband Sergio Gonzalez were haunted by the idea of the Raconteur becoming something Metuchen doesn't need another of -- a nail salon, a massage parlor -- or, worse yet, an empty storefront. And so they took the big leap and are planning to bring  a bookstore/boutique to the area this spring. 

In a quick conversation yesterday, Karen told MM that the store (which, by the way, looks amazing even in its infancy, with brand new bookshelves and unearthed windows bringing some light to the surprisingly large space she has opened up) will carry new books and used books as well as childrens' toys and educational learning gifts which cannot be found anywhere else. She has been speaking to publishers to try to bring in childrens' books that are unique and beautiful. Her plans for the store include a coffee bar that will work in sync with Brewed Awakening and events that will appeal to families as well as well-established residents who didn't frequent the Raconteur -- while still maintaining the sense of cultural appointment that Alex Dawson brought to Main Street for the last six years. She hopes to create synergy with other merchants and restauranteurs to help bring together all the variety that Main Street Metuchen offers.
She added, "The fact is  . . .  that the execution of this venture has been a collaborative effort from so many in town who supported the idea and truly wanted it to happen (Linda LaStella, Jay Muldoon, Maggie Cook, Jana Siciliano and so many others) plus and, perhaps most importantly, the negotiations and concessions between two supposedly 'competing' Realtor in town (Karen Winters from Re/Max and Meiling Kravarik, Broker/Owner of NextAge M3 Realty) who instead sought to keep a space that would Main Street and the town while balancing the financial requirements of the landlord and the 'economics' of a bookstore. Meiling has been outstanding also in going well beyond what a landlord would do to fix up the space at her own cost to better reflect the changes we're bringing about (new lighting, new bathroom, new doors, etc)

Check out their Facebook page for a contest to name the store. When MM thinks about supportive development downtown, it's this type of leap made by citizens who love Metuchen that points an enthusiastic and progressive finger towards the future of our town.

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