At the cozy Bookshelf Café in Morningside there are, in fact, bookshelves — six shelving units, containing 40 individual shelves, to be exact.
“We just like books,” says Jeremy Schillinger, who along with his wife, Rungnapa Khanchalee, opened the café in September. “We run another restaurant [Thai Cottage] that’s really busy. We just wanted a quiet escape. I think one person said it looks like his cool granddad’s attic.”
Paperbacks, hardbacks, National Geographic and Popular Mechanics magazines line the shelves alongside CDs, vinyl records, board games, houseplants, antiques and other tchotchkes. A record player/radio console is available for customer use; there’s even a 16 mm film projector hanging around. “[The books] are not organized very well, either. Actually, science fiction is organized,” Schillinger says as he looks at the selection. “We sell them really cheap, unless it’s a specialty book or art book. We even let people trade.”
As for the café part of the shop, Schillinger and Khanchalee serve up coffee from 19 Coffee Company, a micro-roaster in Washington, Pa. Quiche, pastries, panini, a “breakfast meatloaf,” salads and Amish-made items are also on the menu.
Poets, filmmakers, musicians and board-game competitors are welcomed on special theme nights. “We didn’t want to be your corner-Starbucks kind of place,” Shillinger says. “People who like this kind of atmosphere will find us.”