Best new business: The Literary

By Faith Allendorf, Managing Editor for Reporting

Located in a cluster of shops in downtown Champaign on North Neil Street is a bookstore like no other: The Literary.

The inside of The Literary is decorated in pastel colors, and it also has plenty of places to sit and indulge in a drink while studying or relaxing.

But that drink may not be coffee. To the back right side of The Literary, there is a bar.

Just over a year ago in October 2021, The Literary opened its doors for the first time. Since then, the shop has attracted a high volume of customers who were fascinated by the concept of a bookbar.

Besides selling books, The Literary often hosts author meet and greets, book clubs, poetry readings and more. By day, The Literary is a bookstore and bakery, and by night, it is a bar that serves wine and beer, as well as appetizers and desserts.

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    The Literary was founded by Jenny Shima who partnered with Hopscotch Bakery + Market to bring a bookbar to downtown Champaign. According to Remington Rock, general manager of The Literary, Shima was inspired by her ambition to find a “third place” to be.

    “Your home is your first place and work is your second place, and then where do you go after that?” Rock said. “Where do you go to relax, study, work or learn?”

    The third place is The Literary, and for Rock, the business is what brought and continues to bring her closer to the Champaign-Urbana community.

    “Champaign and Urbana have such great local businesses,” she said. “It’s what I really like about this town — it’s very supportive and local-centric. This is a community that really does love to support local (businesses).”


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