Bel Canto Books, one of the businesses that has operated within the soon-to-close shop and cafe, The Hangout, has locked in a new stand-alone location on Retro Row, which is set to open next year.
For six years The Hangout concept, which housed various vendors and a cafe, brought together The Golden Garden, a shop founded by Tanya Bartels, and Bel Canto Books. That large space will close at the end of this year.
Founded by Filipina-American poet and former hospitality executive Jhoanna Belfer, the indepedant bookstore highlights works by writers of color and other historically marginalized communities. It began as a monthly pop-up club in 2018 before Belfer would decide to share shelves and spaces within other shops, such as The Hangout, Steel Cup Cafe and KUBO LB in Bixby Knolls.
For the first time, it will get its own brick-and-mortar just down the street from its first home on Retro Row, within the former Relics lab. The film lab and vintage film camera shop that opened in 2020, but relocated to Third Street earlier this year. Since then, its Fourth Street location has sat empty. Bel Canto aims to open within that space by Spring 2024.
“This new, larger location will allow us to expand our selection of handpicked books and gifts for adults and kids alike, as well as host new offerings like story time and community workshops, maybe even a book subscription service,” Belfer said in a statement.
Bel Canto will be at 2106 E. Fourth Street.