Downtown Riverhead has yet to land a movie theater, but it’s on track to get a bookstore soon.
Wendy Yusin of Riverhead is buying the old Suffolk Trust building, located between Star Confectionery and the Culinary Arts School, and hopes to open a bookstore there in September.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for Riverhead,” Ms. Yusin said.
The store will be called Jewl’s Book Shoppe & Writing Centre. The name Jewl is meant to represent the first names of her mother, Jane, who died of cancer in October, her great-grandmother Edna, herself and her grandmother, Louise.
Ms. Yusin and architect Heather Brin signed the contract on the building Wednesday and expect to complete the deal soon. They plan to have a potter’s studio in the basement and an artist’s loft on the top floor of the two story building, Mr. Yusin said.
“The intention of the building is to be all about the arts,” said Ms. Yusin, who will run the bookstore. She said Ms. Brin will work on preserving the historical building and making it comply with “green” technology.
Built in 1910, the Suffolk Trust building comes with large concrete safes in the basement and the upper floor, as well as a coal bin and the original coal furnace according to Ms. Yusin.
“It’s a beautiful building,” she said. “It has a lot of its old character. So we’re going to keep the old character.”
The building is currently unoccupied.
“It’s going to be the bookstore of the future,” Ms. Yusin said. “It will be green, it will have an e-book lounge and it’s going to have e-book publications,” as well as traditional books.
“The intention of the book shop is to be a place for writers to put their books, especially independent writers, as well as a place where we will be able to help publish books for people,” Ms. Yusin said.
Ms. Yusin said she’s never owned a book store before. Her background is in teaching and accounting and she holds a patent for managing financial transactions, which she developed for First Data, which owned Western Union at the time.
While the store will have e-book readers available, and even show people how to use them, Ms. Yusin believes traditional printed books still have a future.
“I think people still like to hold a book,” she said. “Kindles and all are great, but you get tired of looking at it.”
A Mercy High School graduate, Ms. Yusin said she believes in downtown Riverhead.
“I think there will be a resurgence of Riverhead,” she said. “I want to do something that’s going to make a difference. I want to do something for the town and hopefully it will come back. And I think it will.”