A couple months back Barnes & Noble announced plans to open four combination restaurant/bookstores in four markets across the country: three new stores, and one which will be relocated/remodeled.
Now we can add a fifth store to that list. A press release has come across my desk today with the news that B&N is opening a store in the Legacy West development in Plano, Texas.
Located on the Northern outskirts of the Dallas-Forth Worth metro area, Legacy West is an upscale development with retail, dining, residences, and office space which, from the description, sounds a lot like the One Loudon development where B&N is building one of the other four new stores.
The new B&N store will be 9,000 square feet and is scheduled to open in March 2017, and according to Legacy West it will feature "a new restaurant with an expanded menu along with a beer and wine offering".
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to join the list of “best in class” restaurants and merchants opening at Legacy West,” said David Deason, Vice President of Development at Barnes & Noble. “We are excited to be opening a smaller format store, as part of a number of different concept stores that we’re testing nationwide.”
Nine thousand square feet is a tiny space compared to B&N's other bookstores. Most run 40,000-square-feet, and even the B&N concept bookstore in Fredericksburg, VA clocked in at 25,000-square-feet.
In comparison, Amazon's first Amazon Books location in Seattle occupies a 5,500-square-foot space.
So B&N is going to open a "bookstore" which is scarcely larger than Amazon's first store? Sounds like this is a bookstore in name only, making this more of a pivot into running a restaurant rather than a bookstore.
In addition to the Legacy West location, B&N is opening new concept stores in Eastchester, NY, Edina, MN, Folsom, CA, and Ashburn, VA. The Edina location is already open, and will soon be closed before being moved to another part of the Edina Galleria mall.
P.S. Coincidentally, I have shopped at and eaten in a restaurant/bookstore. It is called Kramer Books and Afterword cafe, and is located in DC. It had a small restaurant, a good-sized bookstore (for an indie), and in between the two there was also a bar.
Aside from the novelty factor, I didn't see the appeal, but then again I had driven thirty miles in DC traffic to get there. Had I been a local I might have a more positive opinion.