Beacon Hill’s gorgeous new bookshop

Beacon Hill now has a bookstore to call its own that may prove to be a new favorite haunt for readers across Boston.

What’s happening: Beacon Hill Books and Cafe opened this weekend after a lengthy renovation of the brownstone and restaurant space at 71 Charles St.

  • Three floors are dedicated to a curated selection of new books, including extensive collections focusing on children’s and young adult literature.

Why it matters: Beacon Hill, one of the country’s most historic literary neighborhoods, hasn’t had a bookstore to call its own in over a quarter-century.

  • Facing stiff competition from online sellers, founder Melissa Fetter set out to build an inviting neighborhood bookstore customers will want to return to.

Details: A cafe serving breakfast, lunch and a lighter evening menu is open along with the bookstore.

  • Full tea service, scones and all, will be available in the afternoons.
  • Beer and wine are also available.
  • The cafe offers a back patio nestled among Beacon Hill’s historic homes.

What they’re saying: “I had a vision in my mind of what the bookstore would be,” Fetter told Axios last week. “It would be in a townhouse where you could snake through it and it would be very residential and it would be on Charles Street.”

  • Fetter bought the building in September 2019 and began renovations during the pandemic in 2020.

Of note: The store even has its own mascot: Paige the squirrel, who staff will tell you, lives among the stacks of books.

  • Paige has a “den” visitors can see when they visit the store.
  • A diorama on display by author and illustrator Brian Lies makes for a very cozy squirrel home.

What’s next: The store is hosting one of its first events Oct. 16 to 3pm. with a book launch for “Paige of Beacon Hill,” a children’s book about the store’s live-in mascot.

  • Author Sarah Brannen will read from the new book.

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