Business drops at bookstore after cafe portion is shut down

July 02, 1996|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

The Cover to Cover Bookstore Cafe in Columbia's Owen Brown village center is, for now, just the Cover to Cover Bookstore.

Last week, the once-popular cafe shut down, leaving the business more than two-thirds empty. The bookstore that shares the space remains open, although sales are slow, according to two bookstore employees.

"We don't plan on leaving," bookstore owner Marion Brown said in a recent news release.

Cafe owner Marsha Berman said the cafe's managers could not keep up with the rent payments.

She is trying to sell the cafe. For $25,000, the buyer would get indoor and outdoor tables that seat 95, kitchen equipment and a new oven. Berman, who opened the cafe in 1988, said business has been up and down since then.

Under the proper management, she said, a cafe could do well along with the bookstore.

Until then, book sales are likely to suffer, Berman said. The cafe and bookstore were designed to feed off each other, a retail trend that has worked in other locations, Berman said.

Pub Date: 7/02/96

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