Plot Twist: Vroman's Bookstore Gets a Wine Bar

The 1894 is set for its stylish debut at "Southern California's Oldest & Largest Independent Bookstore," a Pasadena gem.

The 1894

What to Know

  • The 1894 Wine Bar at Vroman's Bookstore
  • 695 E. Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena
  • Feb. 10 opening

Coffeehouses and bookstores are a team-up so true and so familiar that even peanut butter & jelly, not to mention bacon & eggs, could understandably feel a little threatened.

You might even call coffee and books the most famous popular duo of all, or at the very least in the top ten of terrific twosomes. But that cozy crown may be challenged by a new entrant in the sit-and-sip-and-read department: The 1894.

The 1894 is a venue located at a bookstore, yes, but not just any bookstore. It's Vroman's Bookstore we're talking about here, that beloved Pasadena stalwart of ideas, readings, poetry, kids' books, and culture.

It's a beloved bastion of bookdom that has earned its billing of "Southern California's Oldest & Largest Independent Bookstore" over its dozen-plus decades in business here in Southern California.

That's right: Vroman's has roots in the 1800s, and The 1894's history-rich name raises a glass to that admirable fact.

A glass of wine, that is. For The 1894, which is slated to open on Feb. 10, 2020, is not a traditional bookstore coffeehouse, but rather a wine bar.


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So rather than ordering a round of lattes for your book club's monthly meeting, you may request a bottle of viognier, or a cabernet, all to lend a little grape-rich depth to the discussion.

And if your club's back-and-forth-ing over plot or the characters requires sustenance, turn your attention to the wine bar's small plates line-up, which will include a host of fine cheeses, olives, crackers, meats, and more.

Of course, the classic coffeehouse will never lose its place in the affections of readers, the sort of people who like a hot cup to clutch as they wade into a novel's final thrilling pages.

But a wine bar?

The newest addition to this long-established bookstore could be a game changer, or, at the very least, a page turner for those people who are eager to plunk down for a happy hour with a memoir and a merlot rather than a mocha.

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