by Jordan Green

Monitoring the economic pulse of the Triad

Bookstore and café opens in Glenwood

Glenwood Coffee and Books opened on Monday, launching a partnership between 74-year-old bookseller Al Brilliant and 26-year-old entrepreneur Andrew Rayle in Greensboro’s Glenwood neighborhood, a community celebrated for its resiliency and diversity.

Brilliant closed his bookshop around the corner on Grove Street, and on Saturday and Sunday about 30 neighbors and church friends helped him move his inventory.

The space shared by the new bookstore and café is about 1,300 square feet, while a back room that has been requisitioned for live music performances is about 2,000 square feet. The new location at 1310 Glenwood Avenue formerly served as a T-shirt printing firm. Brilliant said he will run the book business, Rayle will run the café, and the two will split the cost of rent and utilities.

The tables and chairs once sat in Borders bookstore and café, which recently closed on High Point Road. Rayle said he is not a fan of corporate-scale businesses such as Borders, but prefers to not place much significance in the transaction.

“Some people might get a kick out of it,” he said. “They might consider it irony. I just saw a deal, and went and got some tables and chairs.”

Both Brilliant and Rayle place community over profit. “We bounced several ideas around about what we could do to give people a place to hang out,” Rayle said. “The main thread was Glenwood. All of them pretty much had art and Glenwood, and everything else was loose. We wanted to have live music and WiFi.”