Best Hidden Gem: Bookends & Beginnings

February 23, 2023

Evanston’s best hidden gem just became a little less hidden. 

The independent bookstore Bookends & Beginnings reopened Feb. 15 at 1620 Orrington Ave., after residing for eight and a half years in Bookman’s Alley. Nina Barrett, owner of the treasured local business, began publicizing the store’s relocation efforts in December after a rent increase made the move necessary. The community came together to support the store, contributing more than $110,000 to a GoFundMe.

The new location features two floors and includes an improved event hosting space, a bar and bathrooms. All in all, there’s more space to relax in comfortable chairs and find your next read. With more than 40,000 books, there’s something for everyone of any age. In addition to books, you can find puzzles, stationary, pins, journals and more.

A key fixture in the new location is a beautiful mural, painted by local artists Sam and George Booker that captures the joy books bring and the store’s connection with the community. Bookends & Beginnings’ teal walls, hand-labeled shelves, chandeliers and colorful rugs give the store a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Wandering the new space, lovers of the original store will recognize some of the features in the new location.

Bookends & Beginnings is the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon, getting lost in the pages of a new book.

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