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Long-Awaited Kew Gardens Bookstore to Open Oct. 7, Owners Say

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | September 29, 2017 3:53pm | Updated on October 1, 2017 7:40pm
 Holly Nikodem, Vina Castillo and Natalie Noboa inside their new bookstore in Kew Gardens.
Holly Nikodem, Vina Castillo and Natalie Noboa inside their new bookstore in Kew Gardens.
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The Queens Bookshop initiative

QUEENS — This will be a new chapter for Kew Gardens.

More than three decades after the neighborhood's previous bookstore moved to Richmond Hill, "Kew & Willow Books" is ready to open on Oct. 7, the owners said.

The new bookshop, at 81-63 Lefferts Blvd., will initially be open on weekends only, before operating full time in the upcoming weeks, they said in an email.

“We will open up for regular hours during the week further down the road, but for now we wanted to at least be available on a regular basis,” Holly Nikodem, Vina Castillo and Natalie Noboa — the team behind the initiative — said.

They also posted the news on their Facebook page.

"Now, we know what you're thinking, 'Weekends? That's great, but what if I need you during the week?' Well, we're getting there. But we think it's best that we ease into this and get used to our full space AND what the day to day business will look like," they wrote.  

The three women, who formerly worked at the now closed Forest Hills Barnes & Noble, decided to open their own independent bookstore to fill the void after the chain shut down its all three stores in the borough.

They launched a Kickstarter campaign last year, raising more than $72,000 for the initiative.

The 700-square-foot bookstore will sell a little bit of everything, including fiction, nonfiction and children's books. It will also include a section featuring Queens writers.

"We're super stoked (and kind of nervous? But excited nervous) to finally be YOUR bookstore!," they wrote on their Facebook page.

In August, the team held two meet-and-greet events, which attracted more than 300 people, eager to take a sneak peek at the store.

Currently, there is only one English-language bookstore in Queens — The Astoria Bookshop, but Book Culture is also planning to open a new location in the borough

"Kew & Willow Books” will initially be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.