By Greg Amos
Special to the Pioneer
An established book store is following the flow of the Columbia River to a new home in Invermere, and putting an elegant new lustre on a well-loved retail space.
After several weeks of extensive renovations, Bishops Book Cafe is set to open at the former Invermere Hospital Auxiliary thrift store space at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 20th.
The renovations took six weeks; the many people who used to shop at the thrift store wont recognize it, said owner Andrew Watt. Most people in Invermere have been through the thrift store at one time or another; theyre going to be floored, shocked, when they see the remodelling. Im really looking forward to seeing peoples reactions.
The 2,500 square foot space twice the size of Mr. Watts former store in Fairmont Hot Springs will be packed with about 5,000 book titles, a full coffee bar, and a less abundant selection of CDs and DVDs.
Seventy-five per cent of the space will be devoted to books, he said. The majority of the books are used, and more than 90 per cent will be in gift or mint condition.
Prices will range from $5 for kids books to $1,000 U.S. for rare antique items, including a 392-year-old, 1,070-page book on witchcraft, Discourse on Magic, written in 1624 by Jesuit priest Martin del Rio. The average title will cost $10 to $15 dollars, and for the remainder of 2014, customers will get a great discount no sales tax or PST will be charged on anything in the store.
The revitalized space boasts new stonework, lighting improvements, and new paint on the walls. The earth tones are tied together with vintage posters, antlers, and a glossy walnut-stained concrete floor surface where floor tiles used to be. The store will be open for business initially on Saturday and Sunday, December 20th and 21st, and then will close for four days before an official grand opening takes place from noon to 6 p.m. on Boxing Day (Friday, December 26th). From that point on during the Christmas holidays, the store will be open seven days a week, and will likely stay open until 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The book side of things is ready to go, but the coffee side will be somewhat limited, explained Mr. Watt. The cafe area will offer barstool seating at raised tables, and a relaxing ambience supplied by a steady stream of good music on a high-quality stereo system.
Bishops will offer loyalty discounts on book and coffee purchases, and is ready to serve anyone looking for a good read.
Im not catering to locals or tourists, Im catering to book and coffee lovers, said Mr. Watt. I dont care what your licence plate says.
To see the changes firsthand, head to Bishops Book Cafe at #1-1313 7th Avenue (below Valley Hair Styling and the EK Employment). For more information, call the store at 250-688-0684, or visit the Bishops Book Store and Coffee Lounge page on Facebook.
See this link for a CBC story on the Discourse on Magic book: http://www.cbc.ca/daybreaksouth/2014/02/25/unusual-and-haunting-book-lands-in-fairmont-bookstore/