Barnes & Noble Is Starting A Restaurant Group: Wait, What?

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Barnes & Noble is looking at ways to keep people coming to their stores in the future, and that will mean opening prototype stores later this year. One unexpected thing that the prototype stores will have will be a restaurant. Nope, not just a Starbucks or a cafe: a restaurant.

If you’re anxious to eat at a restaurant in a bookstore (and who wouldn’t be?) you’ll be able to check out the new Barnes & Noble format this fall. The first prototype stores in Eastchester, NY is scheduled to open on October. The other stores will come later in fiscal year 2017, and they’ll be located at the Edina Galleria in Edina, MN; the Palladio in Folsom, CA; and at One Loudon in Loudon, VA.

Those are all upscale markets in the New York City, Minneapolis, San Francisco Bay area, and Washington, DC metropolitan areas, where presumably very classy people will head to bookstores to eat and drink. Yes, drink: the company says that the bookstore restaurants will have “an expanded menu along with a beer and wine offering.”

Will people be interested in using a bookstore as a space to gather and eat? Barnes & Noble stores already sell food if they have a Starbucks, but a full-service restaurant is more complex.

Barnes & Noble predicted in 2013 that they would be closing more of their stores in the near future; they’ve closed fewer of their stores than anticipated.

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