Literature and coffee beans will make a new pairing in downtown Ann Arbor.
Literati Bookstore and The Espresso Bar are taking over the second floor of 124 E. Washington St., the building in which Literati is located. The independent bookstore will receive the keys to the second floor by mid-October and aims to have its grand reveal sometime before Thanksgiving, Literati owner Hilary Gustafson said.
Not long after opening the bookstore in March 2013, Gustafson discovered The Espresso Bar, located at 327 Braun Ct. in Kerrytown, and grew familiar with its coffee as well as its owner, Sandy Bledsoe.
“We visited his coffee shop all of the time and noticed that his business was really thriving and we were just running out of space in terms of storage,” Gustafson said. “So, we were thinking about ways in which we could have some more space, but be more creative about it.”
Both businesses were facing issues with limited space. After six months of discussion, they decided to purchase the second floor of the Literati building.
Currently, Literati is composed of a lower level and a main level. Both are about 1,300 square feet, totaling about 2,600 square feet of space. That figure will grow to 3,900 square feet with the addition of the second floor. The lower level contains the store’s nonfiction collection, and the main level houses its fiction collection, essays and artwork.
Gustafson said she plans to place the coffee shop on the second floor and dedicate the new space to store events and featured content such as “I Heard It On NPR” and Literati Top 25. The café will seat about 30 customers. Gustafson said she wants to create a cozy environment with exposed brick walls and large windows.
The Espresso Bar’s move to the second floor of Literati will signify a relocation from its Kerrytown location rather than the opening of a new branch for the coffee shop.
“It was just a natural growth of two thriving businesses needing more space.” Gustafson said.