Bank Square Books in Mystic, Connecticut, will open a new bookstore in nearby Westerly, Rhode Island, next year as part of a joint project with area developers Dan King and Chuck Royce of 10 Canal, LLC, which owns the historic building the bookstore will be housed in.
Annie Philbrick, who co-owns Bank Square Books with Patience Banister, said that the partnership was a great opportunity. “Westerly is really coming around and is going to be this really cool town,” she said, noting that both King and Royce are active in the revitalization of the downtown community. “They’re great people to work with.”
When the independent bookstore The Other Tiger went up for sale in Westerly earlier this year, Philbrick was asked by many customers and community members about buying it, but she was content with the current operations of Bank Square, which had just expanded the previous fall. Robert Utter, former owner of The Other Tiger, had discussed the store’s options with King and Royce, but the store ultimately closed in April.
When King and Royce approached Philbrick about opening a new store in the town, she couldn’t say no to the idea. “They believe that the community of Westerly needs an independent bookstore,” said Philbrick.
Bank Square Books will operate the 2,500-square-foot, two-level bookstore once the store is renovated, remodeled, and up and running. It will be located on Canal Street, around the corner from where The Other Tiger was housed on High Street, and will feature a small café on the main level, with the interior of the store being built out to complement the historic building. “It’s an amazing project,” said Philbrick. “It’s going to be a beautiful store.” The store’s opening is scheduled for spring of 2015.
This new adventure in Westerly — which is just six miles from Mystic — doesn’t change the mission of Bank Square Books, Philbrick stressed. “We’ll keep doing what we do here, but we’re going to operate another store in Westerly. It’s a really great joint project,” she said. “It’s all part of what we do as independent bookstores.”