Nostalgia led to bookstore opening

Jan. 05, 2013 @ 01:41 PM

Pittsboro books and music: The used book and music store Circle City Books & Music that opened in Pittsboro has a connection to two book and music stores that once operated in Carrboro and Chapel Hill.
Myles Friedman, owner of Circle City Books & Music, said he was the first employee of the Fair Exchange, a book and music store that he said opened in Carrboro in 1978. When the Fair Exchange closed, Friedman said owner Dennis Gavin opened the Skylight Exchange in Chapel Hill.
The Skylight Exchange sold books and music on Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill, and also had a lunch counter. Friedman said the business sold a lot of coffee, sandwiches, books and records. It was popular with teenagers, he said, because it didn’t serve alcohol. The business closed several years ago, Friedman said.
There is no food element at Circle City, he said, although he said the store does have free cookies on the weekends. Gavin now works at the store on Sundays, and also serves as a senior adviser to the business, he said.
Friedman said he opened the store in mid-October at 121 N. Hillsboro St. out of a feeling of nostalgia for the “old days,” and out of dissatisfaction for what he said was a lack of dedicated book stores in Pittsboro.
The Fair Exchange was a community gathering place where people came to talk about music and literature, he said, and Circle City has become the same thing.
“I found it was very congenial to have regular people coming by to chat about things mostly involving intellectual subjects,” Friedman said. “That’s what this store does, it’s already doing that. It’s something I enjoy, and that makes the business worthwhile and entertaining, although I have to sell enough books and records to stay in business, and to turn a profit.”
Friedman said the store is located in a space that at one time housed an attorney’s office, but was most recently the office of a real estate agent.
On a wall that’s visible to people driving into Pittsboro on Hillsboro Street, he said there’s a mural under way of a large bookcase.
Artist Michael Brown, who is known for his murals in Chapel Hill, is supervising the work, he said. He said his daughter Bailey Friedman and her friend Emily Kerscher are working on the painting.

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In other Pittsboro news: The owner of the planned new eatery Modern Life Deli & Drinks said Thursday that he was planning to open in about a week at 46 Sanford Road in Pittsboro beside CrossFit True North.
Tim Goodwin, the co-owner of the eatery with his wife, Ky Goodwin, said the business will serve bagels, coffee, soups, salads, and sandwiches, as well as items cooked in their wood-fired oven.
Goodwin said the eatery will be open for deli hours from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. seven days a week, and for lounge hours on Friday and Saturdays.
A custom jewelry business, Jenny Garrett McLaurin Jewelry, has opened in Pittsboro in Chatham Mills at 480 Hillsboro St., Suite 510.
McLaurin is a goldsmith who fabricates and builds jewelry. Her business is located in a 950-square-foot space located next to the Oakleaf restaurant. She said the business opened Nov. 3.

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Chapel Hill Waffle House targeted to open mid-February: The East Franklin Street location of the breakfast food chain Waffle House is projected to open in mid-February, Kelly Thrasher, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an email.

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