Emmett Mcdonough gives a tour of the Granada Books location currently under construction but due to open in June

Paul Wellman

Emmett Mcdonough gives a tour of the Granada Books location currently under construction but due to open in June

New Bookstore Opening Downtown

Granada Books Scheduled to Start Business June 20

Friday, May 3, 2013
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Two years after Borders and Barnes & Noble closed in downtown Santa Barbara, a new bookstore is poised to open June 20.

Owners of the independent Granada Books opened its door for tours Thursday (no best sellers or even shelves yet) at 1224 State Street, a few doors from the Granada Theatre.

“I’m doing it out of love for the community I love and for the arts of Santa Barbara,” cofounder and financial backer Emmett McDonough told The Santa Barbara Independent. Cofounder is community activist Sharon Hoshida, former director of the UCSB Women’s Center.

McDonough, a retired corporate executive who moved here from San Juan Capistrano, confessed that he had absolutely no previous retail experience and had to take a one-week course in Florida to learn how to run a bookstore. “We didn’t know anything.”

Managing partner Mark Zolezzi, however, brings 15 years’ experience in the book industry. They plan a wide-ranging selection of new books, an extensive children’s section, scholarly books that support area schools and colleges, and a focus on local writers.

Getting lots of comment Thursday among those who flocked there for tours were plans for the outdoor Pomegranate Courtyard in back, featuring literary events, acoustical instrumental concerts, singing, dance, and film screenings.

Since the closure of the two chain bookstores, the longtime downtown used book mecca, The Book Den on the first block of East Anapamu Street, has expanded its new book selection, which now makes up about half its sales, according to owner Eric Kelley, who dropped by Thursday to welcome the Granada Books owners. The new store has no affiliation with the Granada Theatre.

Those who gathered at the Marquee cocktail lounge to hear the announcement of the June 20 grand opening talked about how that block of downtown State Street would see a welcome shot in the arm from the expected hustle and bustle when Granada Books opens.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

So happy that another tattoo parlor, smoke shop, or foot massage isn't going into that that space. Thanks, Mr. Zolezzi, for improving State Street.

banjo (anonymous profile)
May 3, 2013 at 5:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes!!! Thank you Mr. Zolezzi for bringing back some soul to Santa Barbara (and we still love Chaucer's as well!)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 3, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Very cool. Strolling downtown, Barns or Boarders would usually be a stop. There are great bookstores, but downtown, is downtown; Wilhelm even said "the answer," was in that Petula Clark song. I don't know anything about that, but this bookstore could vary well turn out to be a nice addition to the community.
The support of local writers is fantastic. Lets face it, there are some interesting cats in our quaint little city. Some jump in cars and love the drive, but manage to always navigate their way back home. I asked this woman once about this stray that would wander around town. She said " yeah,(very casual like, chewing her bubble gum) that's just the stray."
I said to her, "but look at what beautifully round, intense, feral eyes it has."
She just said "yeah," while laughing. Smacking away at her chewing gum. Then blew a bubble...

sbsavage (anonymous profile)
May 4, 2013 at 1:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank God civilization has come back to Santa Barbara. If the owner has no experience in the book business, so much the better. We may have a better selection than Harlequin Romances or the yee haw series of the westerns i never buy.

Best of luck to Mr. McDonougth and his partner Mr. Zolezzi. May your bookstore last longer then the Earthling, Borders, and Barnes and Nobles combined.

paulvmcdowell (anonymous profile)
May 6, 2013 at 3:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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