MSU professors to open a bookstore, coffee, wine bar adding to area's independent booksellers – Lansing State Journal

LANSING – Long before Sarah Reckhow and her husband, Matt Grossmann, dreamed up their business plan for Hooked, the bookstore/coffee shop/wine bar they’ll open next year, one of the couple’s favorite haunts was a San Francisco coffee shop that became a bar at night.
“You could scope out a table there with your laptop as a grad student and then stay until the evening and be able to wrap up your day with a glass of wine and go home,” Reckhow said.
The cafe/bar’s dual roles served as inspiration, she said.
Reckhow and Grossmann, tenured professors at Michigan State University, have talked about opening a coffee shop/wine bar for years. 
In 2019, after a sabbatical in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the couple added one more component to their concept, a bookstore.
Reckhow and Grossmann came home and developed a business plan for Hooked, where books, coffee, wine and community would intersect. They aim to make it a place where conversations are had and groups want to gather.
“And we know that we’ll have lots of ideas, and some of them won’t work out, but we’re willing to kind of start a lot of them and see what works, see where communities develop,” Grossmann said.
The couple aims to open Hooked in April.
It will occupy a 3,000-square-foot ground-floor space within the Red Cedar Development off East Michigan Avenue. Hooked will join about a dozen independent bookstores in Greater Lansing, several of which opened in the past year. 
When Hooked opens, it will feature a selection of about 10,000 titles, both fiction and non-fiction. The store will host book clubs and offer a kids section. 
In the morning and during the day, the coffee bar inside will serve brewed and specialty coffee drinks made with blends from Chicago-based roaster Intelligentsia. Stone Circle Bakehouse’s bread and baked goods will be offered as well.
“We will also have charcuterie boards, broadly defined, so not just meat and cheese but also nuts and snacks,” Grossmann said. Dessert and kids boards will be on the menu too, along with spreads that are vegan and vegetarian friendly.
In the evening, Hooked’s wine bar will offer about 30 different wines by the glass and as tastings. The bar will sell more selections by the bottle, Grossmann said.
“There’ll be a heavy rotation and variety,” he said.
Taking a space in the Red Cedar Development, already home to the new University Edge apartments, made sense, Reckhow and Grossmann said, because the development is perfectly positioned between Lansing and East Lansing — two communities from which they want to draw.
“We wanted it to be a mixture of Lansing and East Lansing,” Grossmann said.
“We really did like the fact that the space sort of physically embodies what we’re hoping to accomplish in terms of bridging the university community and Lansing,” Reckhow said. “It just is right in that sweet spot and really accessible from the East Lansing campus.”
The growing number of independent bookstores in Greater Lansing is really exciting, they said.
“I think it speaks to the fact that people want to buy their books locally and connect with communities locally, where the owners are local, where you’re getting books that might be kind of thought about in terms of, what do people in this community want to read?” Reckhow said.
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The surge of new independent bookstores in Lansing is proof that they are far from obsolete, said Christine Bennett, who co-owns A Novel Concept.
The bookstore is one of five that have opened along a mile-long stretch on Washington Avenue and Washington Square within the past year.
“The fact that a lot of creative folks were recognizing the need for that and filling that void I think is really cool,” Bennett said.
It’s also worth celebrating. Shop owners along what they’re calling “Lansing’s Bookshop Row” will host a book crawl from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The stops include A Novel Concept, Deadtime Stories: True Crime and Other Books, Socialight Society, Summit Comics and Games, The Robin Books and Wayfaring Booksellers.
Customers who shop the event can collect a button at each shop and pick up a free “Bookshop Row” tote bag. Learn more at the Facebook event page, “Lansing Book Crawl 2021.”
In the meantime, here’s a list of independent bookstores you can visit in Greater Lansing:
• Archives Book Shop, at 519 W. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing.
• A Novel Concept, at 112 S. Washington Square in Lansing.
• Bestsellers Books and Coffee Co., at 360 S. Jefferson St. in Mason.
• Curious Book Shop, at 307 E. Grand River Road in East Lansing.
• Deadtime Stories: True Crime and Other Books, at 1132 S. Washington Ave. in Lansing.
Schuler Books, at 1982 W. Grand River Ave. in Okemos.
• Socialight Society, at 222 S. Washington Square in Lansing.
• Summit Comics and Games, at 216 S. Washington Square in Lansing.
• The Robin Books, at 1105 S. Washington Ave. in Lansing.
• Triple Goddess Bookstore, at 2019 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing.
• Wayfaring Booksellers, at 1027 S. Washington Ave. in Lansing.
Contact Rachel Greco at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ .

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