-Bellevue Times, October 2, 2023
At one point in history, Bellevue had at least four different bookstores operating at the same time, including three at Southroads Mall. Bellevue’s last bookstore, Confluence Bookstore and Bistro, closed its doors more than a decade ago.
However, there is good news for readers and book enthusiasts in Bellevue and the surrounding communities. Business partners and friends Fearless Cummings and Andile Mahlangeni-Byndon are bringing the bookstore back to Bellevue.
Their vision, 2 Dads and a Bookstore, will be opening soon on Galvin Road, across from Bellevue University at 1015 Galvin Road South.
“This is the city of Bellevue’s store. We want to ensure it’s not just a bookstore but a place where people can come and hang out,” Mahlangeni-Byndon shared. “We are building a whole experience where people can hang out. They can come here, get something to drink, get a coffee, relax, get yourself on the wifi, meet your friends here. Our goal is to create a whole experience.”
Cummings said, “We love the idea of a great conversation because of something you read. You don’t see that too often.”
The friends met while attending recertification training for their jobs at Hands of Heartland. During a break, they started small talk, quickly leading to discussing books. While talking about their favorite books and authors, both realized they were very like-minded people – avid readers with a love for books.
During Covid, Mahlangeni-Byndon bought out a bookstore that closed, and a lot of their initial stock will come from that inventory. They plan to open with around 3,000 books available to the public and have thousands more ready to restock the shelves.
The duo also discussed their respect for teachers. “Teachers get the biggest discount we offer – 20%. And that’s 20% off of everything we have… even if there is a sale. We want to make sure they know they are appreciated,” Cummings said.
Cummings and Mahlangeni-Byndon will officially open the bookstore on Saturday, October 14 with special hours from 10am until 3pm. Normal hours and days of operation will be Tuesday through Saturday from 10am until 8pm. They will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. Mahlangeni-Byndon said, “Our hours are 10am-8pm until we get everything situated. Once we get situated, we plan to be open late for different events.”
Cummings added, “We are trying to make this like Cheers, where people walk in and everybody knows their name.”