New coffee and bookshop opens in Lancaster

Photo Neil Cross
Lee Smith in his Wilde And Well Read bookshop/cafe, New Street, Lancaster
Photo Neil Cross Lee Smith in his Wilde And Well Read bookshop/cafe, New Street, Lancaster

A new coffee and bookshop aiming to attract community groups and local artists has opened in Lancaster city centre.

Wilde & Well Read has opened in the former Novel Cafe premises in New Street.

Wilde & Well Read in New Street, Lancaster.

Wilde & Well Read in New Street, Lancaster.

Owner Lee Smith said he aims to bring something unique to the city, and is hoping local artists and crafts people will want to display their work in a gallery in the large first floor space.

The business has a cafe serving from breakfast through to larger meals on the ground floor, and upstairs is a large space which houses fiction and non-fiction books for sale as well as space for people to sit and work – there is free wifi – or for groups to gather.

In addition, Lee wants to exhibit local artwork, jewellery and pottery and hold exhibitions and other events.

Former police officer and security guard Lee, who took over the shop just two weeks ago, said he believes the new business will attract a large number of students, but hopes all people in the community will want to use the premises for a variety of events.

Photo Neil Cross
Lee Smith in his Wilde And Well Read bookshop/cafe, New Street, Lancaster, with staff Suvi Keranen, Paul Cokell and Ewa Witaszek

Photo Neil Cross Lee Smith in his Wilde And Well Read bookshop/cafe, New Street, Lancaster, with staff Suvi Keranen, Paul Cokell and Ewa Witaszek

“We are looking at the student market where we can look at their reading lists and order in the books they need.

“They can then come and use the space to study as well as look at the books.

“We are able to order books to arrive the following day or within a week if they are not in stock. We take pride in being able to offer a personal service.

“I think people will be shocked by how much the place has changed – we have put in a completely new floor, furniture and kitchen.”

The shop will be supporting Dyspraxia Awareness Week next month by donating a percentage of their takings to the charity.

A children’s book by local author Jane Binnion is available at the store.

An official opening is due to be held on October 7 from 6.30pm.

Wilde and Well Read will be open Monday to Saturday from 8am until 5pm (until 8pm on Wednesdays and Fridays) and 10am until 4pm on Sundays.

However, they are able to be flexible to open at alternative times to cater for any local groups who might wish to hold a meeting or event.