My lips parted and my mouth formed an “O” of surprise. If anyone noticed it was only to confirm that the others gathered in the bookstore/cafe were wearing a similar expression of reverence for the space. In an age when bookstores are disappearing at an alarming rate, only to be replaced by corrugated cardboard boxes adorned with a swooping blue arrow, the arrival of a new bookstore on Charles Street in Beacon Hill, where two others have shuttered their doors on this very street, feels optimistic to say the least.
Fortunately for me, I adore optimism. I encourage bravery. I live for a good restoration project, and I applaud business ingenuity. Melissa Ferret, if you happen upon this little blog of mine, I hope that you can imagine me, in your minds eye, bowing down to you. The same goes for you Cathy Kincaid Interiors.
The five story brownstone houses a cafe and wine bar on the terrace – not yet opened to the public. Permitting. That’s all I will say about that, but food aside, the setting made me long to be sitting in the serene blue and white subterranean dining room, accented by Nantucket Red trim, here and there, with an abundance of Sister Parish wallcoverings and fabric. The sister’s design aesthetic manages to be sophisticated yet fresh. It’s grown up whimsy. I’m planning a private event, for whom I have not yet determined, for what occasion? One will present itself to me, and if it takes too long, I’ll make one up.
You will find on each floor a lit fireplace. The narrow floorplates accented by floor to ceiling bookshelves, little nooks to hideaway and read, ample comfortable seating, natural light, and squirrels. Yes, there are squirrels everywhere. Which came first the Beacon Hill book about a squirrel or a building that happened to have a few in residence? If it sounds nutty, it is, but in a good way, and they run with analogy by placing an acorn on a book each day that the squirrel recommends to young readers. I love sugar so the concept isn’t too sweet for me, nor is the little train that rambles on the custom track that circumvents the perimeter of the room just below the ceiling, disappears from view as it enters a tunnel and makes its way back to you. Surprise and delight. Surprise and delight. Whoever came up with that idea, and the tiny little doors that lead from the children’s room to the hallway should be entered into the hall of fame for fabulous ideas.
Stop by for a visit at 71 Charles Street . Boston . MA. Be prepared to wait your turn to get in.