Those of us - and there are many - who were upset when The Bookseller closed last year, and have been disappointed that a new bookstore has not come to town in its stead, can breathe a sigh of relief. Cherokee will have a new bookstore on Main Street - though this time it will be on West Main , rather than East Main.
Jay and Mollie Loughlin have purchased the building at 204 West Main Street, and plan to open a full-service bookstore there - hopefully, by this fall.
The first order of business for the Loughlins, though, will be refurbishing the storefront to its original brick facade. Yes, I'm afraid that means that the ugly yellow stucco exterior, which has been in place since the 1960s, will become a thing of the past, and the as-yet-unnamed book store will have an old-fashioned brick exterior, which will allow it to blend in with such West Main Street buildings as the Gathering Place. Jim Davis, who worked on the Gathering Place building restoration, has been acting as a consultant to the Loughlins as they form their plans for their new business.
Mollie Loughlin, who has been employed as an 8th grade Language Arts teacher at the Cherokee Middle School for six years, has turned in her resignation, effective at the end of this school year, so that she can turn her full attention to the new project. She said the experience is "kind of bittersweet," because she has loved working with her students, and will miss that, but that owning a bookstore has been a long-time dream of hers. She said she "loves books, and everything about them," and plans to have a store where "customers can relax and feel comfortable." With that in mind, she plans to furnish a reading area with comfortable chairs. The book store will be in the area which used to house Joyce's Shoppe, and they have not decided yet what they will do with the remaining area of the building.
Loughlin said the interior of the building is "interesting," and mentioned an elaborate staircase and big window in the west part of the building. She said that full-scale work on the exterior will begin as soon as the nice weather sets in, and they will work on the interior, too, as time permits. The hope is that the store will be open in the fall.
Loughlin stressed that the plans for the new business "are in the infant stages yet," but also said she has a lot of ideas in her head for things she wants to do with the business.
The building at 204 West Main originally housed a mercantile store, and has also housed the following businesses - Royer's Jewelry, Schmidt Furniture, Joyce's Shoppe, The Clothes Peddler, and Golf etc.( and perhaps more) over the years.