Morgenstern’s, a Bloomington bookstore, will be reopening its doors in June after nearly 25 years of being closed. Former customers said they will welcome the store’s return.
The bookstore will feature a 1,500 square foot cafe, local artisan goods, a section for local authors, author signing events and — of course — lots of books.
Morgenstern’s was driven out of business in April 1996 when national bookstore chain Barnes & Noble came to Bloomington, Mitch Teplitsky, who does public relations and communications for Morgenstern’s, said. Rick Morgenstern was the sole original owner and is the namesake of the store.
“I’ve heard him say it was devastating,” Teplitsky said.
Teplitsky said Morgenstern decided to go ahead with his reopening plan after he published a letter in The Herald-Times in 2018 asking former customers in the Bloomington community how they felt about him reopening. The response to the letter was extremely positive, he said.
“There’s been so much outpouring of genuine excitement that the bookstore is coming back,” Teplitsky said. “People know and remember Rick.”
Teplitsky said he thinks the local business aspect of the store makes people feel like they are a part of a family.
“When you’re supporting a local business, you’re supporting your own community,” Teplitsky said. “We have a different relationship, a different feeling, when we are supporting and buying from people that we know, like and trust.”
Teplitsky said Morgenstern will now co-own the store with other investors, one of them being Dr. Todd Eads, a neurosurgeon and IU alumnus.
Eads said he reached out to Morgenstern after spending time discussing the business idea with his family and pondering whether or not he was ready to own a business.
“We are obviously taking a pretty big risk here, especially in a year like we just had with COVID-19,” he said.
Eads was previously a co-owner of a private practice medical group and is currently a co-owner of a surgery center, but he said he has never owned a retail bookstore.
“This is absolutely outside of my wheelhouse,” Eads said. “I’m learning a lot on the fly.”
He said books have always been an important part of his life, especially since he went to medical school.
“As we get older, we have to continue to read to expand our knowledge and our vision,” Eads said. “Books are one of the ways we do that.”
The new bookstore will be taking the place of the old Pier 1 Imports on 849 Automall Road. The old bookstore was located on 2650 E. Third St. Eads said although he’s personally a fiction and science fiction fan, the store will be selling books of all genres.
Jacque Kubley, a former visitor of the old Morgenstern’s, said he used to take his daughter to the bookstore at least once a week.
“It was just a very, very comfortable store to be in,” Kubley said.
He said shopping local is important to him as his daughter is the owner of a small business.
“I would shop locally if given the option, even if it cost me a little bit more,” Kubley said.