The Ivy Bookshop is aiming to open a new location inside Hampden’s Whitehall Market this September.
But the popular store will kick things off in July with a launch party for Laura Lippman’s latest novel, “Prom Mom,” in the a large private venue space on the mill’s first floor called the Penguin Room.
The Ivy will take over a space previously occupied by Gundalow Gourmet and Designs that “lends itself naturally to become a bookshop,” according to the store’s owner Emma Snyder, who also owns the Bird in Hand café in Charles Village.
The news comes as all of the businesses that occupied stalls inside Whitehall Market, which opened in 2020 inside a restored mill along the Jones Falls, have left or announced their departure. True Chesapeake Oyster Co. has continued operating its restaurant next door to the market.
When she was approached about the idea of opening a bookstore in the market, Snyder loved that the new location would be part of a collaborative space with a community of vendors, which also welcomes the broader Baltimore community.
“Getting to be a part of that and feeling like we’re meeting a community interest seems really fun to us,” Snyder said. “And, it seemed different than what we’re doing in our other spaces,” she added.
Even with the string of departures, developer David Tufaro previously told The Banner he is searching for new tenants and is confident in the future of the market.
Snyder said the Ivy will plan to host large events at least several times a year inside the mill. She also anticipates having family-oriented events on weekends in a children’s area of the mill, like story hours for picture book launches.
Having a smaller space also means the Ivy will get to be more “curatorial,” she said, or think more about how to display books in a way that is thematic or surprising.
The bookstore in the market won’t have as many titles as the Ivy’s primary location at 5928 Falls Road, she said. But the hope is someone will come in and find an interesting book they didn’t know existed and it piques their curiosity.
“The things you didn’t know you wanted, as opposed to the things you do,” she said.