Like many businesses, Visible Voice Books, 2258 Professor Ave. in Tremont, had to close their doors in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. And owner Dave Ferrante has been struggling to find a way to safely reopen the independent bookstore ever since.
Then, earlier this month, Ferrante came up with a viable solution: Instead of completely re-opening the store to the public, he thought his customers would be more comfortable if they could browse the store privately with a few friends.
On Wednesday, Aug. 12 Visible Voice launched Create-Your-Own Night, where groups of up to eight people can rent out the bookstore for a night of reading, eating, and drinking.
Ferrante says he hopes the private rental experience will encourage customers to come support Visible Voice, as well as bring back that unique browsing experience that’s been missing.
“We have been closed since the end of March and we felt it was time to consider reopening the store,” he explains. “We thought about the best way to do it to keep staff and customers healthy. We thought this was a good compromise because only two to eight people can come inside.”
For $50 customers get 90 minutes to roam the bookstore, a large two-topping pizza from Crust Pizza Kitchen, located downstairs, and a bottle wine or an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages. Of course, the cost does not include any books customers may want to purchase.
Time slots are offered Wednesday through Saturday after 4 p.m. But it's already tough to get a time slow, Ferrante says.
Visible Voice Books“We have had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback,” Ferrante says of the response so far. “We have already sold out the entire month of August, have almost sold out September, we will most likely continue in October and will fully open in November.”
Customers can buy additional pizzas or beverages for an extra cost. Masks are required.
During the pandemic Visible Voice customers have been able to purchase books online and get curb side pickup.
“People are looking for a safe environment to get out of the house with people that they can feel comfortable with.” Ferrante says, adding he thinks he’s created something that lets customers feel comfortable while getting out of the house.
Time slots can be reserved online. and updates can be found on the Visible Voice Books website.