Storefronts that combine book sales, whether new or used, with music and media offerings, other gift items and a cup of coffee entice a broader clientele. Throw in an outdoor courtyard or a small stage and sound system for local musicians – or nationally known authors – to perform on, and your indie bookstore becomes a destination, a place that puts the community on the map.
The Spotty Dog
One such establishment is Spotty Dog Books & Ale in Hudson, where you can belly up to the bar for a pint of beer or glass of wine to enjoy as you peruse a book or two. It’s owned by Kelley Drahushuk – relative to the Evans family, whose name is connected to both the historical building (a one-time firehouse) and a brewing operation. Combining her passions in 2005 seemed like the perfect thing to do, resulting in a marriage between 10,000 books and a bevy of artisan beers. Karen Schoemer now manages the bookstore business. The Spotty Dog offers an esoteric selection of literature, art supplies, tee-shirts and some great pint glasses with embossed Dalmatian logo.
The Spotty Dog Books & Ale, 440 Warren Street, Hudson; www.thespottydog.com.
Village Square Bookstore & Literary Arts Center
Up the mountain in Hunter, Village Square Bookstore & Literary Arts Center is managed by Carolyn Bennett for the Catskill Mountain Foundation (CMF). When asked how the book business fares in a remote ski town, she reports, “We’re able to hang on because we’re a part of the larger arts organization. We do author events and workshops, and our audiences have been growing.” Village Square is housed in CMF, along with the Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery and the Fresh Harvest Café and Market, making for a great stop for anyone visiting the Catskills.
Village Square Bookstore & Literary Arts Center, Main Street/Route 23A, Hunter; (518) 263-2050, www.catskillmtn.org.