Last week Jennifer Ball stood among dusty boxes and construction debris at 214 W. Colorado Avenue, the new location for Between the Covers (BTC) bookstore. She and her daughter, Elaine, were bundled in jackets against chilly indoor temperatures as they sorted through stacks of books and new merchandise prior to re-opening in the new space tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 14.
Formerly a Conoco garage with two gas pumps where the patio is now located, the space once served as a livery with horse stalls. An extensive remodel over the summer opened the space that was previously occupied by Ghost Town café with the space next door that was occupied by Zia Sun by breaking down a wall for a combined space of 2,289 square feet, over twice as large as BTC’s former space.
“We're happy that the timing of the new space being ready to move in was during offseason,” said Ball, who purchased BTC a year ago with her husband Brad. “We’re grateful to our previous space's owner for allowing us to stay until this new bookstore and coffeeshop were ready.”
Full of light shining through large Main Street-facing windows, the new space retains original tin ceilings, wood floors, and exposed brick walls and has two remodeled ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) bathrooms. Upon entering the bookstore, to the right there are the same tall bookshelves that were at the old space, displaying fiction, staff picks and nonfiction best sellers. A new hang-out area is to the left where there will be comfortable soft seating in front of a fireplace that is on order.
“We love the plaster finish on the walls where the fireplace will go,” noted Ball. “We reached out to Lara Porzak, who showed artwork at the Telluride Arts space during Film Festival, to ask if we could hang on to some of her pieces when she was taking her show down. She came over and we planned a whole gallery for the new bookstore space walls.”
Given the increased space, Ball added more toys, games, and puzzles for sale, along with new BTC and Bruno merchandise including hats, shirts, sweatshirts and mugs, just in time for Christmas shopping.
In addition to stalwart bookseller Evan MacMillan, Ball hired three additional booksellers whom she will train this month. So far she’s hired one additional employee for the attached café called Bruno.
“Our espresso machine was delayed a few days out of Italy so we'll need early next week for bean sampling and training,” she explained. “We’ll open the café soon after so keep checking our Instagram for updates @brunointelluride and @betweenthecoversbookstore.”
With a large service counter looking out the Main Street-facing windows, Bruno will feature soft seating among café tables and chairs where customers can enjoy an array of coffee drinks, (the coffee itself is currently being re-branded), along with menu offerings.
“We’ll keep all the same Thorneycroft favorites that we sold at Alpine Coffee like the gluten-free vegan banana bread, the sausage and veggie breakfast burritos and berry scones,” reported Bruno Manager Palma Tavenner.
Tavenner will serve additional offerings from Thorneycroft Kitchen including soups, quiches, savory spinach and meat pies, fruit pies and granola to see what works best for her clientele.
“Our mission is to strive to create consistently high quality, fresh and delicious products from scratch,” said Thorneycroft owner Julie Thorneycroft who operates her food business out of Norwood. “We use organic ingredients whenever possible, and source our eggs and meat locally, as well as produce when available.”
Ball is in the process of securing a liquor license to enable Bruno to serve wine and perhaps a signature cocktail or two during the evenings along with sweet and savory menu items. Upon re-opening next week, she’ll begin gathering the requisite 100 signatures prior to the official liquor license hearing which is scheduled for Dec. 13.
While Ball does have outdoor seating and heaters for the patio outside of Bruno, she needs to figure out an optimal approach for snow removal on the patio’s new crushed granite surface and will likely lay down paver stones in the meantime.
In addition to offering a Noel Night celebration with traditional discounts, BTC will continue collaborating with the Wilkinson Public Library for book signings.
Given its new and inviting space, BTC is also talking to the library about hosting the Booze & Books program as a regular gig, once Bruno secures a liquor license.
“I’m excited about this,” said Ball’s daughter, Elaine. “My parents have been working really hard. It’s been fun.”
BTC will have its soft opening tomorrow (Monday). When Bruno re-opens, its regular hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily while BTC is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. If/when a liquor license is approved, Bruno will operate its wine bar each evening from 5 to 9 p.m.
For more information, visit between-the-covers.com.