It's a great time to be a book lover in South Florida. Popular literary destination Books & Books will once again expand its reach when it opens another location in the former Sears Tower on the campus of the Adrienne Arsht Center.
The new location, set to open by the end of the year, will house a café open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with seating for about 100, the Miami Herald reports. The Arsht Center spot is the latest addition to the Books & Books family, which includes outposts in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and Bal Harbour.
The two-story bookstore will put more focus on the café than the other locations. Chef Allen Susser, who handles the culinary side of Books & Books, is currently working on the new menu. Susser tells the Herald that a coffee bar with some seating will be set up near Biscayne Boulevard, with tables available on the promenade next to the Ziff Ballet Opera House.
"We hope to have author appearances, music on the plaza, special menus based on new cookbooks, wine and beer tastings," owner Mitchell Kaplan told New Times.
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For patrons, parking will be free in the center's Lot C before 10 a.m. on weekdays, and those coming for lunch or dinner will pay metered parking rates in that lot unless a performance is going on, when the rates increase.
"We're hoping that we can help augment the sense of community that is already developing in this part Miami," Kaplan said. "I think that having a wonderful café under the direction of Allen Susser, paired with Books & Books and The Arsht Performing Arts Center, will only bring good things to the wider community, as well."
Books & Books Coral Gables, founded in 1982, is known as one of the country's favorite bookstores. Featuring local, national, and international writers as part of its Reading Series, the shop has become a literary staple in South Florida. Kaplan told the Herald he'd love to have the new stop open in time for the Miami International Book Fair come November, but no opening date is set in stone.