The hybrid bookstore and cafe Serj Books is expanding its reach Downtown with another location. The second outpost is taking shape at 300 N. Akard, across from Cafe Momentum, where owners Anne Holcomb and John Walsh saw potential for the growth of their brand.
"We became interested in the Mosaic building when it was sold to the Olympus Group. We heard great things about them and it turned out what we heard was right," says Walsh. "We share similar values with regards to customer service and quality; a deal came together quickly."
The new location will be three times as large as the St. Paul space, but feature a similar layout. Retail and cafe space will occupy the front of the business, while the back will contain a dining room, event space and a stage. A larger menu will be available, with new features such as all-day breakfast, artisan pizzas, local cheeses, fruit and veggie smoothies, as well as new sandwich offerings. There will be new artwork exhibited, along with "some surprises", according to Walsh.
Although the painting of some large murals are currently in progress, construction on the space is complete. As of now, Walsh and Holcomb slate the opening date as "soon," and plan to fine-tune the hours in the process.
"We're opening there to serve the neighborhood residents and business people," says Walsh. "We'll figure it out as we go along through a series of soft opening days and adjust from there."