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Legacy Books May Be the Coolest New Bookstore. Ever.


by Jerome Weeks 23 Oct 2008

We just got back from a guided preview tour of the new Legacy Bookstore, opening (a “soft launch”) in the Shops at Legacy in Plano this weekend. The Grand Opening will be Nov. 7, followed by a week of special events and author appearances. Masterminded by Teri Tanner, a publishing industry vet, and designed by […]

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We just got back from a guided preview tour of the new Legacy Bookstore, opening (a “soft launch”) in the Shops at Legacy in Plano this weekend. The Grand Opening will be Nov. 7, followed by a week of special events and author appearances.

Masterminded by Teri Tanner, a publishing industry vet, and designed by Deanne Teeter of Morrison Siefert Murphy, Legacy Books is 1) a real, live, major independent bookstore in North Texas. If you’ve ever been to the Tattered Cover in Denver or Elliott Bay in Seattle, you know what this means. Yes, there are some independents hereabouts but 2) not this handsome, this smart. And 3) not on this scale, with this ambition. The American Booksellers Association says that the 24,000 sq. ft. retailer is the largest new bookstore “in memory.”

To give some idea of the thinking behind Legacy: Along with the sizable cafe and children’s section on the first floor, there is a 300 sq.-ft demonstration kitchen — for visiting chef-authors to show off their talents. Legacy may be the only bookstore with a six-burner stove top and Wolf oven in it right out front – with a video camera trained on them. That way, if crowds can’t get up close when Stephen Pyles flips his crepes, they can watch the flying food on flat screens throughout the store.

And unlike the majority of bookstore cafes, Legacy’s can serve beer and wine. If only it were closer to where I live: You couldn’t pry me out of the place.

Legacy Books is airy and open with tremendous amounts of natural light. But for all of the store’s sleek modern looks —

designer Deanne Teeter has included plenty of leather chairs and benches for curling up and reading. Upstairs, there’s even a separate, cube-shaped nook for art books. It’s like an elegant gallery or boutique library. Splashy photo books on architecture, interior design and fashion are featured along the black walls while in the center are clustered, black-leather ottomans for sitting, laying out the big books and flipping through them.

On the same floor, there’s a wi-fi corner in the business section — which has a great view of some of the local corporate campuses across the Parkway. (The wi-fi corner will help keep some of the execs from those same campuses out of the cafe downstairs, explained Kyle Hall, marketing director for the store. They get their own exclusive-y business spot and the cafe won’t be cluttered with laptops and briefcases and accountants pulling out their hair.)

The Shops at Legacy is the same center that houses the Angelika Film Center-Plano — which may make it my favorite stretch of retail in North Texas. Expect more from us as Legacy opens.

UPDATE: Legacy Books’ “soft launch” this weekend has been postponed. It’ll happen Monday. That’s what a soft launch is all about: working out the kinks — in this case, it’s a computer glitch that prevents electronic transactions.

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  • Bill M.

    Crepes, wine, wifi — yada yada. How’s the selection?

  • Hey Bill,
    I was up with Jerome on the tour today. Legacy was still stacking its shelves, preparing for its soft opening when we visited, but an early glance looks promising. There is a beautiful separate room full of art and architecture books, a very large children’s area, a mezzanine devoted to genre fiction. Near and dear to our heart: in addition to the usual best sellers and staff picks, they also display books discussed on NPR/KERA shows such as Fresh Air and Think. Still, though, that’s just an early look. I’ll be interested to hear what you – and others -think when the store is fully stocked.

  • Deanne Teeter

    I want to credit the entire Morrison Seifert Murphy team that is responsible for the Legacy Books design:

    Pat Murphy, AIA
    Deanne Teeter
    Miguel Vicens
    Yudi Kurniwan
    Adele Cuarleton

  • When it comes to Legacy’s book selection, Teri is VERY committed to community response — learning what her customers want, stocking that or getting it in ASAP. This is one of the advantages of an independent bookstore. The chains tend to order in bulk — they’ll do individual book orders, of course — but in terms of what’s regularly on the shelves, it’s much harder for a chain to shift directions than it is for an independent, no matter how large it is.

  • Grace

    I swear I just saw my wallet fling itself out of my purse and run for dear life to the safety of the space under my dresser. Because I don’t already own dozens of tomes I’ve not yet read, they had to go and build this heavenly cash drain just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from my house.

    November 7 can’t get here fast enough!

  • Noel

    Legacy Books is the happiest place in Texas. They have a great selection, great layout, a great staff, and much more. It is always a treat to stop by this fantastic new independent bookstore.