Niagara Gazette — As visitors were “oohing” and “aahing” over the new culinary institute which opened for classes last week in downtown Niagara Falls, the college’s book store has been drawing a lot of attention as well.
While the Culinary Institute of Niagara County Community College has yet to have its official grand opening - set for Sept. 28 - the new Barnes & Noble bookstore, which is unlike any other in the country, has been open for business for the past couple of weeks on the main floor of the renovated site of the old Rainbow Centre Mall.
And though the nation’s most popular book seller has been opening locations at colleges around the country for some time to take the place of traditional college bookstores, the Falls store has a culinary theme unmatched by the chain’s other outlets. The downtown location offers upscale cookware, best selling recipe books and a cooking station for culinary students who will share recipes beneath a giant television screen featuring Food Network shows.
“It’s definitely a hybrid,” said manager Dawn Everett, looking around her new store where students were busy purchasing their school uniforms, chef hats and aprons as well as books and kitchen gear they’re going to need for their classes. The institute’s Barnes & Noble has all of that as well as shelves of popular cookbooks, best sellers and magazines.
“We’re taking the love of cooking and mixing it with the Barnes and Noble brand,” Everett said.
Like every other Barnes and Noble, there will be a cafe, but this one, called LaPatisserie, will be run by the students at the institute. There will also be the other standard favorites, such as free WiFi, and a Nook center for the chain’s popular e-reader. There will soon be a bargain book section, a children’s book section and a spirituality and religion section.