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The Reading Room opening on Feb. 26 in downtown Decatur

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The Reading Room opening on Feb. 26 in downtown Decatur

The Reading Room. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

This story has been updated. 

Decatur, GA — The Reading Room will celebrate its soft opening on Monday, Feb. 26, in downtown Decatur. The coffee shop will be fully open for business next weekend.

The Reading Room is located at 429 Church Street, which used to be Java Monkey. The Reading Room has not formally announced its hours as of Friday, Feb. 23. This story will be updated when the operating hours are confirmed.

The Java Monkey burned down nearly five years ago. (In 2022, a jury convicted a former Java Monkey employee of burning the place down.) The Reading Room will offer wine, coffee, and “delectable apéritifs,” and something that’s been missing in the Java Monkey space since the 2018 fire – a place to gather.

The business is a partnership between local owners Kristin Radcliffe and Mary Tveit. The building has undergone extensive renovations to prepare for its opening. The owners enclosed the former patio space and aimed to make it a welcoming space that would be open all day.

The Reading Room won’t have a full kitchen but plans to serve pastries from St. Germain Bakery, charcuterie, and desserts. They also plan to keep unique magazines and newspapers no one else carries, and will serve coffee from Little Waves, a woman-owned company based in North Carolina.

“Our whole focus is to make something that is a community meeting spot,” Radcliffe previously said. “This is where this whole idea developed, to come up with a place where everybody could feel welcome. That’s where we’re focusing our renovation. It will be something very beautiful but also comfortable and welcoming.”

Tveit also previously said the company will be about “promoting women and leaning into all that Decatur has to offer.”

“We’re going to try to bring community back. That’s what Java Monkey had,” Tveit said. “We’re going to also pay tribute to Java Monkey. I brought my babies there. Everyone has missed it.”

To learn more about The Reading Room, click here.

Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this story.

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