Barnes & Noble will hold a grand opening Wednesday, July 11, for its new store at UT’s Gateway Project, which also will house the new University Bookstore.“The opening of Barnes & Noble is a great way to kick off Gateway phase one and to showcase the institution’s commitment to creating a student-centered environment,” said Matt Schroeder, vice president for real estate and business development at The University of Toledo Foundation. “The Gateway Project will be a much-needed destination for students and help to stimulate investment within the Dorr Street commercial corridor.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at noon at the corner of Dorr Street and Secor Road, followed by special events, promotions and appearances.
Dr. Tom Barden, dean of the UT Honors College, will sign his book titled Steinbeck in Vietnam from 1 to 3 p.m. There also will be a book signing with one of UT’s mascots, Rocky, for his book titled Here’s Rocky!
Coupons will be handed out to the first 100 customers July 11 for specials in the bookstore, and patrons also can register to win prizes, including a NOOK Simple Touch, Starbucks gift cards, UT clothing and items, and more.
Special appearances will be made by Rocky, Rocksy, Blue Crew and the UT cheerleaders, and entertainment will be provided by the University’s radio station WXUT. Free samples from the convenience area will be served as well as select items from the Starbucks café, which is located in the University Bookstore.
The new Barnes & Noble will have a full-service Starbucks café with specialty coffee drinks, soups, bagels, cookies, hot pretzels, baked goods and more. It also will have a convenience area with snacks, drinks, and health and beauty aids.
The new expanded general reading area will provide customers with a comfortable, quiet place to sit and read. Books available will include more than just textbooks; best-sellers, bargain books and gifts will be available on the new shelves.
There will be a new children’s area with an extensive title list and game section, with story time every Thursday at 11 a.m. beginning in August. Live performances and readings will occur in the café regularly — including performances by UT students.
The bookstore and café will be open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
In addition to the Barnes & Noble bookstore, the Gateway Project will include Gradkowski’s Sports Grille, Jimmy John’s, Great Clips, YogurtU and other retailers. The upper floors are Lofts at Gateway apartments for UT students. The 48 units will house 112 students in two- and four-bedroom modern, fully furnished apartments.