A new holiday pop-up bookstore opened today in the Downtown Silver Spring development, occupying a portion of the space where Lincoln’s Bar-B-Que once operated.
Loyalty Bookstore will have limited hours leading up to a grand opening Nov. 10 in conjunction with annual CommUNITY Tree Lighting and Street Party.
Owner Hannah Oliver Depp, who is also managing partner of Upshur Street Booksin Petworth (whose owner/operator, Paul W. Ruppert, is in a partnership with the new pop-up) explained the source of the store’s name.
“The long and short of it is [that] it’s a combination of my own personal belief system, which is very much so based off of sort of ‘what do we owe each other?’ and as a community, what do we owe each other?” she said.
“The idea of when you bring books into a community, it helps create and nurture that community, of course, but then you create a bond with your community and your community and you create a really intimate relationship that is unlike any other retail relationship,” Oliver Depp continued. “I very much believe that bookstores are retail establishments, and that they are a business, but there’s no denying that it’s a very unique relationship, and so I wanted a name that acknowledged that connection.”
She grew up in Maryland and spent summers with an aunt living in Silver Spring and Takoma Park, went to graduate school at American University, and worked at Politics & Prose for about five years before moving to New York City and working at WOOD Bookstores.
“I got a ton of incredible experience from the owner. She really nurtured me and helped me figure out how I could do this,” Oliver Depp said, adding it was always her plan to return here to what she calls her “happy place.”
“We’re really trying to get a sense of the neighborhood and what they want [in a bookstore],” Oliver Depp said, noting that they will start with a relatively small stock of about 1,000 titles, chiefly children’s books and fiction.
“It’s going to be very, very slim while we figure out what the neighborhood really wants,” she said, adding that, like Upshur Street Books, they will offer special orders, which typically would take about three to five days for delivery.
She said they’re also aware that Silver Spring is a good market for nonfiction, classics and art books, and as the store evolves, they will stock diverse, multicultural, queer and differently abled genres.
“We’re really trying to emphasize the unique populace of Silver Spring, which is really an incredible community, and so we’re really just trying to capture as much as we can in our little pop-up,” Oliver Depp said.
The store also will carry prints, mugs, stationery, goods from local partners and other gift items; most will arrive as they get closer to the grand opening.
“Those things tend to be a lot of beautiful items for your kitchen, for your living room, to really help to incorporate how do you and books exist in your house?” she said. “So the idea is really if books are making a home, what else goes in there with your books?”
While it’s open, the store will host free children’s story time every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 p.m. The pop-up will also offer a calendar of author readings throughout the holidays, and will partner with Downtown Silver Spring on a variety of events and programs for adults as well, according to a press release.
During the soft opening week from Nov. 1-9, the store’s hours will be noon-6 p.m. daily except Monday, when it will be closed.
Following the grand opening, Loyalty Bookstore will be open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and closed on Monday. The pop-up will close down the first week of 2019.
But that may not be last that customers will hear of Loyalty Bookstore.
“The downtown Silver Spring community has been incredible, and we’ve really had a great time working with them as partners,” Oliver Depp said. “My big emphasis is that we want to figure out with this community how we can make [a permanent store] happen.
“We’re really encouraging people to sign up for our newsletter,” she added. “We’ll be sending out a lot of information about how we can work together as partners to bring a bookstore here.
“There’s [been] a huge up swell in the last six years of new, independent bookstores opening,” Oliver Depp continued. “Communities are really recognizing that they want their downtowns to have what we call third places, places between their work and their home that aren’t necessarily a nail salon or a restaurant, as awesome as those spots are to have, but that you want something special and unique. We’re just really grateful to be a part of that up swell.”
Top photo of owner Hannah Oliver Depp stocking shelves by Mike Diegel. Below. photo of the temporary storefront by Mike Diegel.