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Beer, wine and books: Barnes & Noble opens in One Loudoun on Wednesday

The new Barnes & Noble at One Loudoun. Courtesy Photo
Barnes & Noble opens its doors in One Loudoun Wednesday, and the local location will be offering up more than just reading material.

The retail giant's One Loudoun store will be the fifth location in the U.S. to sell wine and craft beer.

The 17,000-square-foot space combines a bookstore with the Barnes & Noble Kitchen, offering beer, wine and a “fast casual dining experience” where customers can order food at the counter and have it delivered to their table.

According to Christoper Louderback, the store manager, the bookstore has been designed so the customer has a “gorgeous open space” and “can see everything” as they look and wander around. Books are arranged so customers can see front covers rather than the spines.

“It's a wonderful visual selection,” said Louderback, a Virginia native who has worked for Barnes & Noble since 2004. “You come into the store and you can see everything. This is a community bookstore. It's very expansive, it's not a library look,” he added.

The store features usual offerings of fiction, non-fiction and bestsellers, with the store's color palate changing as readers approach the children's section. Local authors are well represented, and the nature and wildlife section is predicted to be a fan favorite.

The new store will host book signings from local authors. Courtesy Photo

Reading areas are plentiful, with the store promoting the number of power points available so customers can charge electronic devices, and if they wish, work there.

There will be regular children's story time, with a “Polar Express” pajama book-reading event slated for Dec. 1. Each weekend there will be book signings by authors from Virginia.

Louderback says there is a clear message of hospitality running throughout the store, and the Barnes & Noble Kitchen is a focal point within that aim.

Carl Hauch, vice president of Barnes and Noble, said the One Loudoun store is in some ways a “test model.” Cafes have been a staple in store for the last 25 years, but the One Loudoun Barnes & Noble will become the first in the D.C. area to offer alcohol.

Still, “Books will always be at our core,” Hauch said.

Six Virginia craft beers will be offered, including selections from Alewerks Brewing Co., Champion Brewing Co. and Solace Brewing.

The wine includes a Jefferson Viognier and Barboursville Cabernet Franc Reserve – both from the Old Dominion. Menu options include pastries, mezze plates with hummus and cheese and charcuterie boards. The cafe seats 74 people.

Barnes & Noble chef, author and restaurateur Ben Ford said customers can “grab and go” or can sit and have a more leisurely meal with more entrees available after 4 p.m.

Ford, who hails from California and is the son of actor Harrison Ford, said he is focused on locally sourced ingredients. He said he has found Virginia cheeses to be “outstanding.”

“It's a great location to be in Ashburn, and the community is growing,” Hauch said.

With the decline in brick-and-mortar bookstores, Hauch believes Barnes & Noble offers an experience that can't be replicated online, whether it be browsing the book shelves, or uniting food and drink with reading.

“There's always a place in the community for a great book store,” Hauch added.


Yes, Duncan_Idaho.  As I’ve said often, it’s not a business but rather it is a bar with a ______ (insert whatever the business purports to be).  In this case it is a bar with books.  But I’ll take it.  Happy to have a bookstore.

David Dickinson: Still obsessed with adults drinking alcohol, are you?

Alcohol and books are a great match. I guess Barnes and Noble discovered Loudoun Co. is full of alcoholics that can read.

Please, can everyone in Loudoun who reads stop by there now and then to buy a book?  We’ve lost a number of bookstores since I’ve lived here (ca. 1982) and the lure of the cheap Amazon price is with us always, but when you need a book you’ll want a bookstore.  If you don’t buy a book now and then, we’ll lose yet another one…

I’m guessing they would save a lot of time and money if they would just skip the book part of this business !

When I first heard about this store a couple of years ago I never thought they’d get it open before the chain went bankrupt.

But I was wrong, good for them.

Excellent.  I’ve always been surprised at Loudoun’s lack of a destination bookstore given our highly educated population.  Looks like we finally have one.

That said, they will have to rename One Loudoun to One Lush.  It seems they can’t do anything without alcohol.

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