Letters, a bookshop, to open downtown

Nov. 22, 2013 @ 05:56 PM

Shop targeted for West Main: A veteran of the local bookstore scene (who also loves books, and in particular, fiction) is planning to open Letters, a new shop selling used, rare or out-of-print books and select new books on Main Street downtown.

The founder of the new shop is Land Arnold, one of the three original owners of Flyleaf Books. The shop opened in Chapel Hill on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in 2009 next to the Foster’s Market.

Arnold said that about six months ago, he and another owner sold their shares in the business to the third founder. He said he saw “so much vibrancy and potential” in downtown Durham with new businesses and restaurants popping up. And he thinks every neighborhood should have a bookstore.

He’s targeting opening the shop at 313 W. Main St. the first week of December. The location was previously the retail shop for interior designer Heather Garrett.

In the bookshop, Arnold said he’s going to sell more contemporary used fiction that he hopes will turn over quickly, as well as “quirkier books.” He will have some select new adult books, and a “pretty strong” children’s new book selection.

He said he believes the business will be successful because of downtown’s growth, even though the location is around the corner from where the former two-story used bookstore the Book Exchange was in operation until 2009. A new tapas eatery, Mateo, has moved in.

“Downtown Durham has changed so much since they closed, and even in the last six months, it’s changed,” Arnold said. “I feel like, six months down the road, I feel like it will be growing very rapidly.”

Part of his plan is to give all proceeds from sales of children’s books to Book Harvest, a provider of books for children in-need, which he said is managed by his former business partner Sarah Carr.


High Strung expansion: High Strung Violins & Guitars has expanded on West Markham Avenue in Durham across from Duke’s East Campus.

The shop sells and repairs guitars, violins and other instruments and offers music lessons.

It’s been in a two-story building at 1805 W. Markham Ave. Earlier this month, it expanded into space next door at 1803 W. Markham Ave. that previously housed Trinity Lounge.

Lila Hemsell, floor manager, said the retail side of the business has moved into the former Trinity Lounge space. They plan to have a room for violins, and another for guitars and other instruments.

The space at 1805 W. Markham will be used for private classes, group session and workshops, and instrument repairs will be done downstairs.


Free car washes (if you time it right): If you’re the 25th customer on Nov. 29, 30, and Dec. 1 at The Durham Ritz Car Wash off Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, you’ll get a free car wash.

The business is marking its 25th year in business. It has also re-opened after a remodel.


Gregoria’s update: Fares Hanna still plans to re-open the Cuban restaurant Gregoria’s at 2701 Hillsborough Road, but his timeline has changed. He’s now targeting to open the restaurant in January.

Gregoria's closed earlier this year after a fire heavily damaged the house that it was located in on Chapel Hill Road.


Want to eat out for Thanksgiving? Here are two options:

Time-Out Restaurant on Franklin Street will be open on Thanksgiving Day serving a meal for $8.99 plus tax.

The meal includes sliced roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, a choice of two sides, and a choice of a biscuit or cornbread.

The owner of Durham’s new barbecue place The Pit said the restaurant will also be open on Thanksgiving Day for lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 pm. The restaurant is at 321 W. Geer St. downtown.

Have an item for The Buzz? Contact Laura Oleniacz at loleniacz@heraldsun.com, or at 919-419-6636.