Bookstore owner buys building

November 16, 2007
By

SANDRA STOREY

JP CENTER—David Doyle, owner of Rhythm & Muse, says he is feeling especially happy and secure about his business this fall.

After renting two different spaces on northern Centre Street for nearly nine years, he realized the small business owner’s dream several months ago when bought the mixed-use building at 470 Centre St. that houses his store.

“At last I have a sense of long-term security. I am now confident the store can have a long-term presence here. I feel we’ll be around as long as I am here,” Doyle said in an interview last week.

“Being a business owner, I am aware of how rare this opportunity is. I feel very privileged to have this opportunity,” he added.

The store sells new and used books and CDs and takes special orders from “mostly core customers” every week, Doyle said.

Since buying the building, Doyle has had a lot of exterior work done, including blowing in insulation and replacing the clapboards and painting. Doyle said he hopes to install solar panels on the roof, a la Fresh Hair on South Street, sometime in the future.

“On a practical level, we recognized the beauty of the building, but it needed significant work. It’s gratifying to be able to do that,” he said.

Rhythm & Muse operated from a space at 403A Centre St., next to Bella Luna in Hyde Square from 1998 until around 2003. “The driving decision to move was that the rent was going up 6 percent annually,” Doyle said.

Doyle moved his store to the former location of Roseway Books, owned by Olivia Dworkin, who also owned and lived in the building at the corner of Roseway Street. Doyle said she charged low rent.

The building has the store on the first floor and two residential units—one big and one small. As part of his purchase of the building from Dworkin, Doyle agreed that her housing in the smaller unit would be secure.

“I would hope JP returns to the model with apartments above retail. It is a sign of a thriving community when there is a nice mix of retail and residential,” Doyle said.

Rhythm & Muse will have a ninth anniversary celebration next month at the store. “I want to say thank you to the community for keeping us here,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here without them.”