Port Washington’s independent book store is open and stocked with your favorite books, gifts and more.
The Dolphin Bookshop, located at 299 Main St. in Port Washington, has been a town mainstay for over 75 years. The independent book store has recently noticed that customers are coming in surprised the store is open, having previously believed that the store has closed down.
But The Dolphin Bookshop is open and inviting people to come to check it out.
The bookshop used to spread through three spaces of the building they occupy, as of last October they consolidated to one corner space. The consolidation of the book store provided the owner, Judith Mitzner, with a blank canvas to rearrange and decorate the shop.
“The consolidation was surprisingly challenging,” said Mitzner. “We had to get rid of stuff, so we had a huge sale where items were 75 percent off for about two weeks. Although we downsized the space, we had an opportunity to change up the look of the store.”
The store has tall wooden bookcases lining the walls and smaller bookcases throughout the center of the shop. “The shelves were nine feet tall, so we shortened some of them to open up the space,” said Mitzner. “Now the store is brighter and lighter. We also put wheels on the bookcases so we are able to move them around to reorganize the store or enlarge the space for events.”
When you walk into the Dolphin Bookshop you are immediately stepping into a welcoming and calming atmosphere. The large ceiling to floor windows that cover the walls facing the roads provide natural light to illuminate the assortment of books, from travel guides to young adult fantasy novels to history books, the shop carries it all.
The children’s picture books and adult fiction books are the highest selling items in the book store. The store even features a children’s reading nook with chairs for the kids, seek and find books and a wide array of other short storybooks for children.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, The Dolphin Bookshop held events such as poetry readings, author signings, book club meetings and kids programs. Since the pandemic, it has been hard for the shop to hold those events due to COVID-19 protocols. But Mitzner is looking forward to getting back to the public events.
“Since the pandemic, we have had one author event in December,” Mitzner said.
Author Jordan Salama visited The Dolphin Bookshop to speak about his new book, Every Day The River Changes, and sign copies for customers. “We are going to figure out how to have more events while following COVID-19 protocols,” said Mitzner. “People came to the store pre-COVID one day a month for the store-run book club. A book would be chosen and then a group would meet in the cafe to discuss the book.”
Now that the store has downsized, the cafe section is gone. But the cafe spot connected to The Dolphin Bookshop is currently being renovated into a new cafe by new owners. Mitzner is excited for the new cafe to open and plans on working something out with the new owners so the bookshop patrons can still enjoy their lattes and books.
Besides books, The Dolphin Bookshop carries children’s toys, an assortment of candles and soaps, jewelry and many other gift items.
“On Saturday mornings people would come in to buy children’s gifts for birthday parties, but that has been reduced since the pandemic began,” said Mitzner. Stuffed animals, baby toys, craft kits and puzzles are still stocked at the bookshop making for great presents. The bookshop is a perfect place to stop in for greeting cards and an accompanying gift for any occasion.
Follow on Facebook and Instagram @thedolphinbooks to be notified of events and new inventory. To learn more about the bookshop visit their website, thedolphinbookshop.com.