As a long-time bookworm and former English major, bookstores have a special place in my heart. As I’ve been scouting out exemplary bookstores in the upstate SC area, Joe’s Place Bookstore has marked itself as a must-visit, must-support, must-love location.
Let’s not sugar-coat it: bookstores often struggle to stay in business. In my hometown, two used bookstores I visited frequently both abruptly shut down due to patrons doing more browsing than actual buying. However, I’ve noticed several small bookstores beginning to revamp their business by pairing book selling with using their space for social and educational opportunities. Joe’s Place is a great example of this store/community center hybrid, and they’re hitting it out of the park.
You’ll find Joe’s Place’s new location in a beautifully transformed home on Williams Street. I was absolutely smitten with this place not just because of the incredible variety of books, but because the owners at Joe’s Place have maintained a true homelike feeling in their new space. In every room, there are comfy chairs and sofas or spacious tables where you can spread out your bookstore finds.
Downstairs, you’ll find a little cafe with pastries and local chocolate treats, plus excellent coffee drinks using locally-roasted Due South coffee beans. Directly across from the coffee station is Joe’s Place’s beautiful wine bar, with rows of gleaming bottles and plenty of vintage charm. Whether you have a glass of wine or a steaming cup of java, the outside covered porch is a serene place to sip, chat, and enjoy flipping through a book.
Joe’s Place also hosts a variety of weekly events, anything from topical crash-courses, introductory classes on wine, book club meetings, and trivia nights. They’ve formulated an excellent business model that blends merchandise, food and beverage, and resources for the community. Their comfortable environment and spacious rooms offer the ideal place for coffee dates and study spots, and they’re filled to the brim with excellent books–a true delight to discover. Follow them on Instagram, and definitely go visit…and when you do, browse AND buy!