A longtime Front Street store is booking it to the Merchant’s Wharf.
Hearthside Books owner Brenda Weaver said her business will be moving later this month and will probably be closed around Oct. 23 and 24, so the new location’s phone lines and internet connection can be set up.
“That’s where we started 45 years ago,” Weaver said of the waterfront location in a phone interview.
Back then, Debbie Reifenstein and Susan Hickey owned the store, and they moved the store from the Wharf a short time after its opening. They sold Hearthside to Weaver in 2014.
For more than 40 years, the store has had its downtown presence — there’s also a Hearthside Books in the Nugget Mall — at its current location, Weaver said.
“It’s going to be sad to leave the corner of Front and Franklin,” Weaver said.
The old downtown location will get a farewell Friday during First Friday events, Weaver said, and the new location is expected to be up and running for the monthly arts and culture celebration downtown for November’s First Friday. Weaver said November author events at the new location are already planned.
Weaver said she hadn’t heard what might take the bookstore’s place on Front Street.
While Hearthside has been on Front Street for a long time, Weaver said the store does not own the site — the Juneau Assessor’s Database lists the owner as Skagway Jewelry — and a move to the Wharf made business sense.
“It’s just an opportunity that came up,” Weaver said. “It does save some overhead. We weighed the pros and cons of moving.”
The new location will offer about the same amount of space with the exception of the downtown store’s “kiddie loft” at a relative savings, Weaver said. She said the new site also offers more parking for locals and shoppers may pop in while waiting for meals or visiting other stores in the Merchant’s Wharf.
Weaver said the move will also provide a chance for taking stock of inventory and making sure records match the products on hand.
She said the move is not expected to cause staffing changes.
“We have a really good, steady staff,” Weaver said.
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.