Volume One bookstore will reopen May 4, new store owner Cedric Brown said.
Brown said his family in December decided to replace the floor, build a stage arena, and repaint the interior the shop reopens as a coffee shop and performance venue.
Brown said the building will reopen once again as a bookstore and a concert venue for visiting artists. Two floors of the 12-room second floor will be used for storage for their online book inventory. Brown said the upstairs had four office spaces and a conference room in which they plan to to teach classes.
Brown said that in three years he hopes to host events every weekend, such as local bands, game nights and and some employees to help run the shop. He said he even wants to sell specialty items from around town.
“But for now, we are just making this place look presentable,” Brown said.
Brown said it took 12 of his friends to move just the books on their first floor room to reach the floor — boxes of books ranging from diabetes to U.S. presidents towered near 10-feet ceiling.
Brown said his grandfather, Richard Wunsch, started Volume One so long ago that he said he can’t remember the exact year. Wunsch ran the building formerly known as “The Annex”, as a bookstore upstairs and performance venue downstairs, but decided to close and reorganize the business.
Brown said Wunsch bought books from Ann Arbor, Lansing, and that he would travel around and buy from anyone who would sell.
Wunsch built many of the towering floor to ceiling bookshelves, near 10 feet high, and also taught employees to build in order to make more space.
Brown said the shop plans to rent the upstairs room as an apartment.
Brown gave another reason to visit when they open: their resident black cat, Ms. Kitty.
Brown said the coolest things he found while cleaning was a book collection of “newspapers from the year 1945, which was the end of World War II, from a newspaper company in Kansas City,” he said.” I also recently found the front page of a paper of Nov. 12, 2001.”
He said his family is excited for the bookstore’s future.
“When we sell some books, will rent at least one apartment, depending on zoning laws,” Brown said.
“We are still in progress, want to open on May 4th,” Brown said.