Madison Rose Beautifies the Village

Lakewood is alive with a variety of unique small businesses that set the city apart from all the others. There has often been talk on the Observation Deck and at gatherings how much this city was in need of a bookstore. When the new and shiny bookstore chain opened in Rocky River, it was nice to have a bookstore close by, but Lakewoodites still yearned for their own bookstore. It seems that when the people of Lakewood call out, there is often a willing and able spirit with a dream, ready to manifest their vision for the people calling. In this case, owners Dave Hook and Pat McGuire filled an empty store front at 13705 Madison Ave in Lakewood with books of all genres this past December.

Pat and Dave, good friends for years, are both avid book lovers. Dave loves books so much that he collected so many he needed a storage unit to hold them. It was when that storage unit was bursting at the seams, that his friends joked it was time to open a store. Having managed a Waldenbooks earlier, the thought of opening his own bookstore sparked a genuine desire to provide the community with his passion. Pat, not only a book lover but a music lover as well, and part of the Irish band “Emerald Heart”, seems to actually have a golden heart, and has also opened that up to our fortunate city. When I asked “Why Lakewood?” their response was “Lakewood is so open minded, artsy, and always continuing to grow.”

Sandwiched between Angelos, one of the finest pizza restaurants in Lakewood, and an empty storefront with the sign “Madison Trash” is seemingly the perfect location for Madison Rose, delicately beautifying a store front a block from Madison Library and Bela Duby coffee shop. What better way to follow a cup of coffee or micro-brewed beer, or gourmet pizza, than a stroll over to Madison Rose to peruse the shelves of old and new gems? The books range from science fiction, spirituality, Irish, children’s, antiques, history, cookbooks, gardening, and more. They have also acquired the reading list for Lakewood and St. Ed’s and have a dozen or so used books ready for our students. Truly vintage books are also Dave’s specialty and special orders for new or used items are always welcome. “We may be small but we are mighty,” Dave and Pat joked. Not only mighty with their collection, they jumped right into Madison Avenue Merchant Association’s latest art walk and were featured in the Plain Dealer. They are also dog friendly if you are walking by with your canine and want to pop in.

While this unique shop may appear unassuming and small compared to a grand chain book store, what sets it apart, other than heart and soul that you immediately feel upon entering, is an array of eclectic literacy and music events. Recently, they held a “Stephen King” night featuring fun, informal discussion of his life, works, recurring characters, and themes. Due to popular demand, this event will be repeated. Madison Rose also hosts poetry nights, Science Fiction authors and poets, open musician night with music every Saturday and an open “song circle”, and local authors appearing for discussion and book signing. When asked about the response they were receiving from customers, they most likely hear “finally, a bookstore!” Then a sigh follows with “and used”. Going green for many means recycling, and budgeting for many in this economy means saving, so Madison Rose accomplishes both. It has the same feel of a used bookstore at the New Jersey shore, quaint but filled with the energy of all types of characters popping from old and new books begging to be read. I encourage all who yearned for our own bookstore to drop by and welcome one of many new businesses bringing their love and passion to Lakewood. Madison Rose, like most Lakewood businesses, is much more than a storefront selling products, it is the friendly, warm feeling of a home town experience, mixed with a little Science Fiction and a hint of rose in the air.

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Volume 4, Issue 16, Posted 12:46 PM, 08.03.2008