Tag Archive for bookstore

Community Celebrates Opening of Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore

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From left, co-owner of Grown Shanon Allen, Wesleyan President Michael Roth, RJ Julia owner Roxanne Coady, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew, and Middlesex Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh cut the ribbon at the new Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore.

On May 23, Wesleyan celebrated the opening of the new Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The store, located at 413 Main Street in Middletown, was packed with Wesleyan faculty and staff, city and state officials, members of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce and other community members, and those who worked to transform the 13,000-square-foot space into a gorgeous bookstore and café. Guests milled about and explored the store’s offerings while sampling small bites provided by Grown™ café. Brief remarks were delivered by Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth, RJ Julia owner Roxanne Coady, and Grown™ owner Shannon Allen, followed by the cutting of the ribbon. (View the entire photo album in this Wesleyan Flickr album.)

Boasting high ceilings with tin detail, ample natural light, and a two-story open concourse design that provides a spacious, airy environment for reading and shopping, the Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore houses approximately 18,000 books, with a special section highlighting authors from the Wesleyan community. In addition to books, the store sells a wide range of both Wesleyan-themed and general apparel and merchandise. The store’s quiet lower level evokes a library, with seating areas for exploring new books. This area opens up to seat hundreds of guests for author events, and also houses the store’s textbook department.

Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore Construction Is Underway

The new Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore, located at 413 Main Street, is under construction and is due to open in May.

The new Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore, located at 413 Main Street, is under construction and is due to open in May. Pictured is an illustration of the completed bookstore provided by Northeast Collaborative Architects of Middletown.

The new Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore, located at 413 Main Street, is under construction and is due to open in May. The bookstore will be operated by R.J. Julia Booksellers, the nationally-known independent bookstore in Madison, Conn.

The bookstore will be operated by R.J. Julia Booksellers, the nationally-known independent bookstore in Madison, Conn.

New Wesleyan Bookstore to Offer Food by ‘grown’

grownThe new Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore on Main Street, opening this spring, will feature a café run by grown, a USDA organic certified concept based in Miami, Fla. owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Shannon Allen (a Middletown native) and NBA champion Ray Allen (also a proud University of Connecticut Husky and Olympic gold medalist). grown marries the quality of farm-to-fork cuisine with a level of convenience that makes it possible for busy people on the go to access high-quality foods at affordable prices.

The Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore will be located at 413 Main Street, near the intersection of Washington Street, in a 12,000-square-foot, two-story space.

“We’re delighted to partner with grown in this exciting new venture. Their commitment to wholesome food and sustainable practices are a perfect fit for Wesleyan,” said Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78. “We think the addition of this healthy option on Main Street is a great thing for the people of Middletown.”

Wesleyan to Open Bookstore on Middletown’s Main Street

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A new university bookstore will open in late spring on Main Street in Middletown and will be operated by R.J. Julia Booksellers, the nationally known independent bookstore in Madison, Conn.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks to a crowd at the new bookstore location on Nov. 30. (Photos by Laura Matesky) 

Wesleyan President Michael Roth speaks to a crowd inside the new bookstore location on Nov. 30.

The new bookstore will be located at 413 Main Street, near the intersection of Washington Street, and is expected to contribute significantly to Middletown’s thriving downtown. Popular restaurants, Kidcity Children’s Museum, and retail outlets are nearby.

The 12,000-square-foot space will be renovated with an open concourse design. Work will begin in December and the opening is planned for late spring of 2017.

“We’re committed to strengthening the ties between campus and Main Street,” said Wesleyan President Michael Roth. “Relocating Wesleyan’s bookstore is a major step in the direction, and I am so delighted that R.J. Julia Booksellers, with their phenomenal reputation, will be our partner in this effort.”

During previous discussions about moving the bookstore, Wesleyan community members had advocated a Main Street location and urged that the university avoid using a national chain to run it. The new location responds to those concerns and will be a vibrant place for special events, as well as ongoing business. It will improve first impressions for prospective students and families. Also, the new location will create more connections between campus and Main Street by giving students, faculty, and staff reasons to go downtown to take advantage of a new cultural hub.

During textbook buying periods, Wesleyan will provide additional shuttle service to the new bookstore.

Opened 26 years ago as an independent bookstore, R.J. Julia hosts more than 300 events each year in Madison and has won several major awards. Among those are Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year, Lucile Pannell award for bookselling excellence, and Connecticut Magazine Best Bookstore.