When BHK Kafe announced its move from inside Nightbird Books to the Fayetteville square earlier this summer, bookstore owner Lisa Sharp decided against finding a replacement coffee shop to fill the vacant restaurant space.
Instead, after watching BHK (and Hammontree’s before them) outgrow the bookstore, Sharp decided it was time to enter the coffee business herself.
“This is kind of the grand vision I originally had of what I wanted Nightbird to be,” she said. “We had Jon Allen of Anonymous Coffee come by and set us up with some equipment. Later that day, we were selling coffee.”
The ability to diversify the revenue stream for the bookstore in a difficult economy played into Sharp’s decision as well.
“We think this could eventually grow to become about 25 to 30 percent of our business,” Sharp said. “It’s also been great so far, because we don’t have to worry about working with another business to cover our events.”
“I think we’ll do a lot more events now,” she said.
When it comes to events, Sharp had a couple of experienced promoters already working in house. Employees Roger Barrett and Tony Presley have both been booking live music and art events around Fayetteville for years.
“Roger and Tony have been great about bringing in bands,” Sharp said. “They’ve got some really cool things in the works.”
Barrett said he hopes to book two or three live music events per month in the breezeway behind the bookstore. All the shows will be all-ages, Barrett said.
Several events are already on the calendar for this month including a local poetry fest on Aug. 18 featuring readings by eight local poets; an H.P. Lovecraft Party featuring music by Potions, The Inner Party and Eyes of Iron on Aug. 19; and a beach-party-themed art show on Aug. 26 featuring live music by local punk band, Glory Bones.
Also on Aug. 18, Nightbird Books will celebrate the grand opening of the cafe.
“We’ll have free brewed coffee so people can taste it, and $1 off all our other coffee drinks,” Sharp said.
For now, the cafe will focus on coffee drinks, beer, wine, bagels, brownies, and other snacks.
“If everything keeps going well, we might eventually do a lunch, but not until we have everything else down,” Sharp said. “We’ll just see how it goes.”