Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston’s premier locally-owned bookstore, has just completed an extensive renovation to its longtime space on King Street. In a time when many have proclaimed the demise of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, the overhaul represents a significant investment in an independent bookshop. (And no, it was not funded by one of James Patterson’s generous grants!)
What they did: Installed new carpeting, shelving, ceilings and lighting, built a new point of sale, and removed the drop ceiling in the front room. In addition to the higher ceilings, walls in the front area were removed so the space now seats more than 50 people comfortably for readings and talks.
Fluorescent lighting was replaced with track lighting and modern pendants, the children’s room has been doubled in size, and the food section was expanded. Other features include a new hand-crafted wood counter, exposed brick, new sound system, and a display of 23 framed vintage bicycle posters.
Design and project coordination was led by Lauren Sanchez Design (Jonathan’s wife’s award-winning interior design firm).
During construction, the store operated out of a temporary pop-up shop next door, in an abandoned restaurant. Thanks to an army of volunteers, all 40,000 books were moved out and back in without a day of business lost.