Red Emma’s is moving to the old Ryleigh’s space in Mount Vernon

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Members of the Red Emma’s collective pose outside their future home at 1225 Cathedral St. Photo via the Red Emma’s Facebook.

The radical bookstore and cafe Red Emma’s is leaving its location on North Avenue for the old Ryleigh’s Oyster space on Cathedral Street, the collective announced today on social media.

Moving will allow Red Emma’s to double the size of the bookstore, offer a seated dining option (with the promise of a plant-based menu and dedicated fryer for gluten-free options) and add a full bar program with vegan wines, local beers and cocktails.  And there will be pay-what-you-can nights.

Additionally, the space will be able to host retreats for community organizations.

Red Emma’s will be able to add 10 more worker-owner jobs in the next six months, the group said.

The collectively owned book shop and cafe will remain open on North Avenue through June and close in July and August to make the move.

“This was a big decision for us, and a hard one to make, because we love our North Avenue location, but this was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up,” the collective said in its announcement.

As the group points out, this is something of a homecoming for Red Emma’s, which first opened in 2004 in the below-street-level St. Paul Street space that most recently was home to The Room, a cafe and bar, and now houses the cafe and bar Melody.

Red Emma’s moved to Station North in late 2012.

After opening in Mount Vernon in 2014, Ryeligh’s Oyster, which has locations in Federal Hill and Timonium, closed the space last summer.

Brandon Weigel

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