Barnes & Noble Opens Wednesday

The new Barnes & Noble opens in the old Restoration Hardware this Wednesday (February 24).

A press release touts this as “the first to show the new design direction now taken by Barnes & Noble for its bookstores,” and “a radical change in appearance” from the former Post Road location, a couple of miles east.

The newly designed store is “light and bright, with bespoke oak shelving and custom designed tables curated with the Westport customer in mind.”

The new site of Barnes & Noble.

The opening includes a 10 a.m. ribbon cutting by local author Liv Constantine. This weekend features appearances by more area authors, like Rowan MacColl, Maria Scrivan and Jane Green.

The press release says that although smaller, the new “clever design holds almost same number of book titles” as the previous location. There is also a children’s section, and toys, board games and puzzles.

This is the first new Barnes & Noble in Connecticut in nearly 15 years. Though the pandemic has led to a surge in online sales, CEO James Daunt believes that “book lovers want to return to real bookstores.”

Barnes & Noble’s original Westport location was the former Pier 1 store on Post Road East, now occupied by BevMax. It moved to the Post Plaza Shopping Center more than 20 years ago. That location closed in December.

19 responses to “Barnes & Noble Opens Wednesday

  1. Dan you missed the most interesting piece in this saga.
    It looks like a new grocery store will be replacing the former B and N site which was a Waldbaums grocery store prior to B and N.
    The application is currently being considered by the P and Z with no occupant name being revealed yet. The design and features are available on the P and Z web presence on the town web site.

  2. Glad Barnes and Noble was able to do a great job repurposing the old Restoration Hardware store in downtown.
    Just to add, Barnes and Noble’s previous location was at the
    center at the corner of Church st at Post Road. That big space will now become an Amazon Go Grocery store. Westport is busy still buzzing along in the Covid times, hooray! Qite a few new stores set to open this early spring on Main street.
    Hope Westporters can get out safely and spend and support our great group of retailers and resturants. We are blessed to have them, so let’s make a concerted effort to keep them all viable.

    Ray Broady

  3. I second James Daunt although it will be quite a while (because of health issues) before I will be going into a bookstore—or any store for that matter. I absolutely look forward to seeing the new B & N—at least from the outside in the near future. Just curious: are there any plans to pay homage in any way to the Fine Arts? Perhaps even a photo with some brief historical background of the location?

  4. So excited to see Barnes and noble in the ok’d restoration hardware space. Not so thrilled at all about the “Amazon go “ rumor. Just a few years ago there were several businesses which looked to be “Amazon proof.”
    Then they bought Whole Foods and got into the grocery business..
    now it’s the delivery business too.
    And ironically although it’s nice to see vacant buildings getting filled it’s ironic it’s going to be with one which is likely to crush other grocery and liquor stores in the area.
    I for one will continue to shop in the local stores ( with the exception ) of Amazon go..
    next they will own all the car washes, laundromats, dry cleaners, gas stations. . maybe even restaurants. Anything you think is Amazon proof.. watch out. Should be renamed Amazon World.
    It would be interesting to see a study on how many jobs Amazon has kicked to the curb.
    For every job they create it seems they get rid of 5 in the process
    all that being said I’m sure our Planning and Zoning officials will be taking into serious consideration the indisputable fallout to other similar businesses.


  5. Michael Pettee

    It’s the press release, and not Dan, but: Bespoke oak shelving?

  6. Rare good news! Good for Westport and thanks Barnes and Noble- kudos to their continued loyalty to the town. Wish there were more of it.

  7. Hurrah! As a former “Westporter” living for decades in Norwalk, I am thrilled that the new B&N will be closer to home. Although I did enjoy the former location being “far from the madding crowd,” I welcome the new store with open arms 😁

  8. Dan, yes I went to the Norwalk B&N CT Ave store a few times but the traffic is always very heavy up there and I preferred driving the back roads to the Westport Store. The Nwlk B&N became a discount wine store. There was talk about B&N going into the location occupied by Toys R Us, that fell through and Bob’s Discount Furniture moved in.

    • That Wine store on Connecticut Ave closed December 2019 and will (might) be replaced with a Planet Fitness.
      We will see if anything becomes of that.
      There has absolutely been NO activity at that Connecticut Ave location to become a Planet Fitness.

  9. Jocelyn Barandiaran

    With the opening of B&N, Westport’s new “literary corridor” is complete — visit the Westport Library; then head across Jesup Green to look for used and antiquarian books at Westport Book Shop, the nonprofit book shop that opened last month at 23 Jesup Road; after, continue on to B&N for what’s new. Westport = a book lover’s paradise!

  10. Let’s all wait and see…I predict B&N will not last 3 yrs in new, difficult to park at location.

  11. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👍👍👍👍👍 Great News!!! Long Live B+N !!!)