BEVERLY — Those who have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Cabot Street Books and Cards next to the Atomic Cafe will have to wait a bit longer — until June.
Though the new store, part of the local HugoBooks company, was set to open last August at 272 Cabot St., redeveloping the building has taken a lot longer than anticipated, according to owner Frank Kaminski, who also operates Kaminski Auctions.
“The building was Band-Aided for years, and the big wall that we opened up — there were problems,” he said. “The contractor delayed. It’s been a long winter, but we’re in the final stretch.”
Luckily, he said, HugoBooks’ owners, father and son duo Bob and John Hugo, have been patiently waiting for the move, Kaminski said.
“It probably should’ve been torn down, unfortunately, but I wanted to keep the character of the building,” he said.
But Mayor Michael Cahill said he’s not happy with the slow progress.
“HugoBooks has been ready to be in there since last June,” he said. “They’re still trying to get in there as soon as they can.”
Cahill added that Atomic Cafe was delayed in opening next door, as well; Kaminski also owns this space.
The gift shop Casa de Moda occupied the space for 45 years until it closed in June 2014.
The bookstore and cafe will be more than just neighbors. An inside door between them will allow patrons to grab some food and go pick out a book, or vice versa. The pair of businesses already has a similar set-up in Newburyport.
HugoBooks owns the Spirit of ’76 bookstore in Marblehead, The Book Rack in Newburyport and the Andover Bookstore, along with a Phillips Academy e-store.
On the other side of the new Beverly bookstore is an empty storefront. Kaminski said he hopes another business will come in there that will fit well with downtown.
“Hopefully it will be something that has to do with the arts in downtown Beverly,” he said.
Arianna MacNeill can be reached at 978-338-2527 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @SN_AMacNeill.