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Bushwick Bookstore Brings in Booze to Stir Up 'Literary Salon'

By Meredith Hoffman | January 2, 2013 1:37pm

BUSHWICK — Looking to mix hardcovers with hard drinks?

Five months after he opened Bushwick's first bookstore, Matthew Winn is finally realizing his dream for the cozy Hart Street shop — a book-and-booze social hub.

"The idea was always to operate as a literary salon with readings and events," Winn said of Molasses Books, "and rather than to have the reading in one place and the after-party in another, it seems natural to combine the two."

Now that Molasses Books has its license to serve beer and wine — which he said the business received in late December — Winn is extending the shop's hours, planning more events and soliciting volunteers to help him run the budding establishment.

And to celebrate, he's throwing a party.

"We've been serving beer a week-and-a-half, but I haven't made a big hullabaloo about it," Winn said, discussing the public event, which takes place this Saturday evening at the shop. "That's the point of this party, it's a way to mark our transition to make it clear we're doing this thing."  

Starting Saturday, Winn plans to extend the store's hours until 10 p.m. each night (from the current 7 p.m. closing time) and remain open every day, instead of his current break from business each Monday.

"Hopefully by Saturday I'll figure out the kind of wine I'm going to sell," Winn admitted, noting he currently offers a handful of beers for $3 and $4 apiece. "And I'm thinking there will be a daytime happy hour, maybe when we sell beer for $2."

Winn said he would be hosting more events and also taking on volunteers to help him run the store, "so I don't have to work 18 hours a day."

And, of course, the local entrepreneur believes the booze will bring a boost to his bottom line.

"Hopefully I'll be able to pay my personal bills now."