Rochester couple transforms warehouse into bookstore

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 1:56 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – An old warehouse in Northwest Rochester has been transformed into a large bookstore and it’s ready for customers.

The bookstore named Silver Lake Books, is the dream of Rochester native Lisa Lowcks-Christenson and her husband David. Lisa has a shop named Peacock Books & Wildlife Art, but they were always looking something more.

They moved into the large warehouse at 903 6th St. NW in May. The warehouse has been home to many businesses over the year, but most recently was a hot tub and spa business. It’s located close to Jack’s Bottle Shop and Forager Brewery.

Lisa and David said revitalizing the space has been a labor of love. They added new lights, paint and furnishings. They said most of the furnishings come from repurposed materials.

They added a stair lift, so customers who can’t walk stairs can make it up to explore the books upstairs. They said they are looking into installing an elevator, too.

About 70% of the books are used, with the rest being new. There are also board games and some vinyl records.

The couple said creating the bookstore dreams has come with its challenges. The pandemic negatively affected their previous business and David has been battling cancer.

“He had an infection form the cancer, which is quite common, evidently,” Lisa said. “They wanted to take him by ambulance right then, and I’m like “what a minute, we’ve got movers coming.” What do I do? It was so hard, so everything we set up, we just kind of put on the back burner.”

The good news is that doctors have recently told David that he’s in remission. Lisa said they are excited for people to see the new space and are ready for the holiday season.

“We’re hoping that when people come here, they feel welcome and comfortable,” Lisa said.

The couple said eventually, they would like to host dinner events and books signings.

Those who visit the bookstore can also meet various different fish in different tanks around the space, along with their 13-year-old Chihuahua named Valentine, who they called their star employee.

The store is open Mon. through Fri. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sat. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

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