Raise a glass, Barnes & Noble will start selling booze

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How do you bring more life to brick and mortar bookstores?

Shops have traditionally gone the caffeine route, adding in cafes and coffee bars.

But Barnes & Noble is trying something different to lure in customers: Booze.

The company made the announcement Thursday, saying it'll start with four concept stores. One of which will be in the Twin Cities area, CNN Money reports.

The Wall Street Journal says the new cafes will be twice the size of the ones we're used to. And in addition to beer and wine options, it'll offer an extended menu.

We don't know exactly what types of food the bookstore will serve, but the Journal says there will be breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

Yes, there will be waiters. No, there won't be any pricy $50 entrees.

So when can we start visiting the Barnes & Noble bar?

Well, a news release says the first one will open in Eastchester, New York this October.

The Edina store in the Galleria will open sometime after, but before holidays, according to the Star Tribune.

The other shops are set to open in Folsom, California and Loudon, Virginia around that time.

Bookstores vs. the Internet

The popularity of online book retailers and e-books has taken a toll on brick and mortar shops.

According to Fortune, Barnes & Noble had 798 bookstores in 2008. Now it has 640.

In fact, one location in Minneapolis is set to close soon.

A restaurant analyst tells Eater that the company could be on to something with its new concept, though. After all, Amazon doesn't offer the option to wine and dine while you shop.

Analyst Bonnie Riggs tells the source that by offering food and booze, the company will turn shopping into an experience.

"A dining out experience isn't something online booksellers can offer," Riggs says.

Next Up


Why do Minnesotans drink so much booze?

The Star Tribune takes a look at the data and, apparently, people in the Upper Midwest really like the liquor. The newspaper says Minnesota, particularly, consistently ranks in the top five states for alcohol consumption. The theories? Many of us trace our ancestry to northern Europe, another land known for heavy consumption. We also seem to be prone to depression. And, yes, the weather might play a part in that.