Traveler Food and Books Restaurant
I discovered this place on Facebook after a friend posted the site to me, but as it wasn’t nearby, I figured… well one day I’ll go. While heading to Maine last September… as we were almost at the state line of Massachusetts, I spotted the restaurant! Hubby asked if I wanted to stop now, but I decided I’d remember it on the ride home… and I did!
I was super excited to finally visit this “book” restaurant after reading about it online. When I walked in, I quickly discovered that there were books…. Everywhere! Even at our table, there were books sitting above on the ledge.. I didn’t know where to look first! After taking our order, the waitress told me that we could each take 4 books for free… well as hubby wasn’t interested, that meant, I could have 8 books!
While waiting for our food, I rambled…. mainly looking for Nancy Drew books. I found lots of cookbooks, children books, how to books, mysteries, but no Nancy Drew! Then I discovered another floor where the “for sell” books were… and there they were! I finally had found a few Nancy Drew’s hidden there along with other discoveries on history and genealogy books. So if you stop… do venture downstairs! Sadly I didn’t purchase any Nancy Drew on that day… but I’ll be back!
I actually found eating so difficult when my food arrived… as my eyes kept searching book titles. I think I took most of my food home that day as I couldn’t concentrate on eating!
The free book giveaways with every meal is quite a gimmick, and was first began by the original owner, Marty Doyle, in the mid-1980’s. He began giving away free books to patrons as a way to weed out his own overflowing collection.
In 1993, the restaurant was bought by a local couple, Karen and Art Murdock, who has continued to operate it in the same way today. They estimate that they give away between 1,000 to 2,000 books every week…. amassing almost 100,000 a year. The majority of the books are donated to them through local area libraries and Friends of Library groups who donate their leftover books after big sales. They also themselves attend book sales in the tri-state area, as they sell books in their downstairs shop area.
While I just discovered this unusual book/restaurant last fall… they haven’t been so hidden through the years, as I’ve found them written up in The Hartford Courant, Yankee Magazine, NY Times and several travel books, as well as being featured on Ch. 8 WTNH, Facebook, Pinterest and just recently visited by The Today Show.
If you stop to browse their books, be sure and enjoy a meal also, as their sandwiches were superb! You could even peruse the books with a glass of wine! I’ll definitely stop there to eat again when in the area… or I might even plan another Sunday afternoon visit… just for lunch! It’s located in the western part of CT. in Union, on the border of Massachusetts. We reached it off I 84, at exit 74… you’ll easily see their tall-high sign pointing the way.
Do let me know if you stop in… and what finds you discover!
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