By Eli LOCKE
The long awaited grand opening and ribbon cutting of the newly relocated Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse was held on Monday, Feb. 7. Among the many who attended were a large number of political representatives and several members of the La Cañada City Council.
The bookstore’s new location at 1010 Foothill Blvd. was purchased five years ago and, according to co-owner Lenora Wannier, there were many challenges to overcome before it could be built. Architect Greg Powell seconded this, saying they encountered many obstacles during the building process, from the shape of the lot to pockets of contaminated soil found under what was once a gas station. However, Powell and owners Peter and Lenora did not give up and the bookstore finally moved into its new location at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Chevy Chase Drive in La Cañada.
It was important for the design of the building to fit into the community, and the hope is for the building to become “an integral part of La Cañada” according to Powell.
The bookstore’s original location just east of the new store was the site of a tragic accident in April 2009. A big rig traveling over Angeles Crest Highway lost its brakes, crashing into the store. But the owners never closed after the accident, moving instead to a temporary trailer they set up behind the store until they could return. However, all the while the goal was to open the new store down the street.
Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse is home to one of southern California’s few espresso book machines, a machine capable of printing and binding an entire book in just minutes. The printer can be used for self-publishing and is able to print many out-of-print books in addition to uncopyrighted works. The press can print and bind an entire 300 page book in about four minutes and is considered a low cost option for obtaining a book no longer published. In order to use the press a properly formatted document can be sent to the machine and printed with ease.
In addition to the book machine, a new, larger coffeehouse at the back of the store provides both a place to relax, study and read and a quiet place to get a cup of coffee or a quick snack. The Wanniers hope the bookstore becomes a favorite among locals.