Rust Belt Books: Following the winds of change

A longtime Allentown business has finally outgrown its store (in more ways than one), and is heading to Grant Street (near Forest). Rust Belt Books has found a new home at 415 Grant (formerly an antique store), giving the bookstore a new lease on life on the city’s West Side. But this time owners will not be leasing the building. Instead they opted to purchase the property, in order to be captain of the ship and their own destiny. “We asked the bookstore what she wanted to do,” said owner Kristy Meal. “The store spoke to us, and we listened. We decided that it was time to buy a building and secure our future. Grant Street reminds us of Allen Street when we first opened. We’re ready to be in a place like that. Take a look around [pointing from one end of the shop to the other]… this is the store. The business is what you see here. She can go anywhere she wants.”

Rust Belt Books will remain open on Allen Street throughout the remainder of its lease at the end of 2014, upon which time the business will complete the move. After that, it is probable that La Tee Da will expand into the space currently occupied by the bookstore. The move of Rust Belt Books will position the bookstore in close proximity to Buffalo State College and the Richardson-Olmsted Complex. It will also help to extend the growth surge on Grant Street towards the northern end, helping to connect the blossoming business district to Amherst Street. 
Stay tuned for more good news unfolding around the corner of Grant and Forest.

About the author  ⁄ queenseyes

Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Catalyst behind the Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette. Themed New Years mayhem at various locations. Next up: Porchfest... Also offers package tours of the city for groups or individuals. Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

17 comments
Gary Boye
Gary Boye

I recently discovered this treasure. Love the place. The best part? Kristy's smile. Be still my heart.

RPreskop
RPreskop

I hate to see Rust Belt Books leave their Allentown location. They fit in so well in that dense, historic community. It is such a warm, inviting little bookstore. It is too bad that they have outgrown their Allen Street location.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Interesting. Interesting choice for an alias. I'd imagine this factored into their move? Or do I recall reading/hearing that they've been looking for new space for a while?

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

The only Google search result is that article, suggesting the company may have been created just to buy that building.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

This building is still advertised for sale, in this week's @Artvoice. Just sayin'.

paulsobo
paulsobo

Sorry that is the Grant and Forest Building they purchased and not the Allen Street.

If they bought that on Grant & Forest, then Id say they made a good business decision on the location. They can live or rent upstairs while nurturing the business downstairs.

I do hope being in the book business that they find some old photos of the building and do some restoration work. Get that aweful plastic siding off and restore the shingles then paint it a very nice classic yet earthy period color.

Perhaps break up the sidewalk for a bush and/or tree.

maybe something radical for buffalo, how about the storefront have the same over-all size windows but with classic french panes.

if they follow the character of the building then they will create the appearance of a safe and inviting neighborhood which will attract more clientelle. (something slum lords and property leaches dont understand).

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Very best wishes, Kristy! I'm sure you've been thinking about these things, but it seems to me that if there's enough room there, including a coffee shop with a few tables might help attract students from Buff State and make the place more of a hub of activity.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Niagara & Connecticut, too :)

RRRumsey
RRRumsey

I just hope they continue to provide a performing space in their new location for area groups like Brazen Faced Varlets to present their unique brand of theatre.

paulsobo
paulsobo

Grant and Forest is a good location! Being close to Buffalo State and the new dormatories will grow into a big plus for them.

The only of their property on Allen...wow...youd think they could have done something better than Vinyl ... and its warping away from the siding.

grad94
grad94

yahoooooo! grant street is our newest success story!

NBuffguy
NBuffguy

Congratulations, Kristy, and good luck!

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