Visible Voice Books didn’t stay quiet for long.
Local readers mourned when the beloved Tremont indie bookstore closed in 2014 after owner Dave Ferrante became too busy to keep up with operations. Yet Ferrante always felt if the opportunity presented itself, he would reopen. When the two-story Komorowski Funeral Home in Tremont closed and the building went up for sale in 2016, Ferrante bought it. In September, the new Visible Voice opened on Professor Avenue with an in-store Crust pizzeria, a patio and the relaxed atmosphere of the original. “I am really holding on to the feel of the old store,” Ferrante says. “We have everything here. We have space for someone to sit down and drink coffee, and we also have room for about 10,000 books.” Ferrante gives us a read on the new 5,000-square-foot digs.
Reading List: Visible Voice still stocks new and secondhand books. Look for offbeat gems such as Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll by Peter Guralnick and National Book Award finalist The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan. But with a 30 percent increase in offerings, Ferrante expanded the children’s and young adult areas. “Those sections are going to be a lot more vibrant,” he says.
Pan Handle: Crust and Visible Voice have always fed off each other, so merging seemed natural. “People used to order pizzas, and then come across to the bookstore, browse and wait for their pizza,” Ferrante says. The reborn Tremont eatery features a 50-seat cafe and a 20-seat bar with a menu of pizza, pasta, salads and subs. Try the Hot Margherita Pepperoni pizza ($16) with crushed red peppers and spicy pepperoni.
Sweet Sip: Bibliophiles can head to the upstairs cafe for a quiet retreat and a brew from New York’s socially conscious Gimme Coffee roasters. And no matter what you’re reading, Sweet Teeth Confections’ limoncello layer cake pairs well with it. “It makes for a very relaxing time,” Ferrante says.
Groove Out: While the new location lacks an outdoor courtyard for entertainment like the previous incarnation, the open upstairs area fits well with acoustic, roots-based artists. Ferrante expects to once again feature local musicians such as Greg S. Harper, the Lucky Ones and Little Steve-O. “There are so many good bands and musicians in this town,” he says. “I really like to highlight what’s here.”