South Brooklyn can be a difficult place to find a (secular, English language) bookstore. Both the Borders and Barnes and Noble stores in Kings Plaza were shuttered in recent years, then just last year Vox Pop on Courtelyou Road in Ditmas Park closed due to tax problems. Bensonhurst residents were getting used to having to either schlep down to Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, to the Brooklyn College Bookstore, or even to the giant strip mall known as Manhattan, to browse for their favorite titles. That is, until Boulevard Books and Cafe opened in nearby Dyker Heights last May.
The Brooklyn Eagle was there for their anniversary party last Saturday, as was Dyker Heights resident Councilman Vincent Gentile. The Eagle quoted Gentile as saying “This is a wonderful and essential addition to Dyker Heights that has made a difference, giving us a wide selection of books and a place for community events and book signings.” Founder and owner Tatiana Nicoli, who gave up “a successful seven-year law career” to open the store, was joined by her proud parents Eddy and Yasmine Nicoli.
Friends, family, customers and curious passersby all enjoyed book signings by Brooklyn authors Alison Espach, Jane Borden and Suzanne Corso. The day’s festivities ended with a cocktail party catered by nearby restaurant Jamie-Lynne’s Kitchen.
I know the next time I’m on 13th Avenue, I’ll be stopping by to check out a much-needed addition to the neighborhood. One reviewer on Yelp described Boulevard Books as providing locals with “more than pork and manicures.”
Boulevard Books and Café is located at 7518 13th Avenue between 76th Street and Bay Ridge Parkway. It’s open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday- Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m on Sunday.