Cellar Door Books signs lease for new store in Riverside

Riverside’s independent bookstore will soon be packing up for a new home — one that’s still in Riverside.

As you’ve read here previously, Cellar Door Books must leave Canyon Crest Towne Centre, its home of 10 years, after the landlord canceled the store’s lease. That set off a scramble to find a suitable location.

One has been found. By the end of May, Cellar Door will be ensconced in Mission Village shopping center, about two miles south of its current home.

“It’s a really good location. We’re excited to be there with all the great food places and a whole sense of belonging,” bookstore owner Linda Sherman-Nurick told me. “And lots of parking.”

The plan is to go out with a bang with activities and hoopla on April 29’s Independent Bookstore Day, a national event that celebrates small bookstores, local readers and local writers. It’ll double as a farewell party to Canyon Crest. The store’s last day will be May 6.

“That week we’ll be packing it up and moving over to the new space,” Sherman-Nurick said. “If we’re lucky, it’s a week or two downtime.” The store should reopen by May 22 at 473 E. Alessandro Blvd., Suite C.

The space, at 1,617 square feet, will be a smidge smaller than the current 1,745 square feet. Will there be room for Nya, the store’s beloved, and large, white-furred mix dog? Of course.

The rent is also higher. Cellar Door had been paying a rate negotiated 10 years ago, meaning that current rental rates came with some sticker shock.

“It’s quite a bit more,” Sherman-Nurick admitted, without going into specifics. “But it’s OK. We’ll figure out a way.”

Old business

Lately I’ve written so many single-topic columns that there hasn’t been a chance to kick back and chat with you. Let’s catch up.

First off, belated thanks to everyone who wished me a happy 59th birthday back on March 14 by social media, voicemail, greeting card and email. Always nice to be remembered.

“Happy birthday to you, young man,” wrote Arthur Weinstein of Claremont, who’s 79.

To my comment that if I like being 59 I might stick with it an extra year, Tammy Woodman of Upland correctly identified the near-precedent.

“You could be the Jack Benny of Claremont — Jack Benny plus 20, because he always wanted his birthday to be 39,” Woodman said. “So you could just hang onto 59. It’s a good number.”

Or maybe it’s already too late to hang onto 59. At least that’s Bob Marlowe’s view.

In an email whose subject line was “Being ’59′” — note ironic quotation marks around my age — Marlowe dampened the celebration by writing:

“I just want to make sure that you realize that a birthday is the celebration of the END of a year, not a beginning. On your 59th birthday, you finished being 59 and, at your time of birth, started being 60. Enjoy your 60th year!”

I replied that while math isn’t my strong suit, at that point I was 59 plus two days. Rounding up to 60 struck me as premature.

Marlowe explained: “On your 59th birthday, you celebrated finishing 59 years. And now, you are ‘being 60.’”

I’m skeptical of the math, as well as of the likelihood that I can brandish Marlowe’s email and claim any senior discounts.

Anyway, now that at least one reader believes I’m essentially 60 even at 59, it looks like next year’s birthday is going to be an anticlimax.

Art Market

Is there a market for art? Yes. Is there an art market? There is, at least in Riverside.

More than 100 artists and art vendors will show off their creativity from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Riverside Art Market in White Park, 3936 Chestnut St.

It’s a project of the Riverside Art Museum’s Art Alliance, which was founded in 1965, a year after my birth. I believe this means the nonprofit is 58. At least I did before writing this column. Now I’m all mixed up.


Storyliving by Disney is the name of a master-planned community in the works for Riverside County’s Rancho Mirage. It’s set to include single-family homes, cottages, condominiums and estates, but evidently not apartments, according to news reports. Question: Will doors unlock in the usual way, or will residents need a Magic Key Pass?

David Allen writes Friday, Sunday and Wednesday, three magic words. Email dallen@scng.com, phone 909-483-9339, like davidallencolumnist on Facebook and follow @davidallen909 on Twitter.