Your town’s next hot new spot might be a Barnes & Noble. The ubiquitous bookseller plans to revamp its stores’ food selection from latte-and-cheesecake-focused cafes to larger restaurants with more food choices, table service, and even booze, according The Washington Post.
The retailer told investors that it will be testing the redesign in four stores, adding shareable plates and beer and wine to its cafes’ Starbucks-centric offerings. The pilot locations will roll out starting in October in Eastchester, New York; Edina, Minnesota; Folsom, California; and Loudon, Virginia.
Though ebook sales began falling for the first time in recent years in 2015, brick-and-mortar book stores have had a rough time in the digital world, competing against both ebooks and online shopping. Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets, introduced in 2009, are largely considered a flop, and it’s been closing stores steadily for years.
It makes sense that the bookseller would turn toward new ways to draw people into its stores and keep them there. Americans spend plenty of money eating out—more than they spend on groceries, in recent years—and an expanded restaurant would make Barnes & Noble a destination rather than a pit stop on a list of errands. While you can order wine online these days, it’s not quite the same as sipping a glass in a cafe. With a book, of course.
[h/t The Washington Post]