Red Emma’s is finally open.
After months of construction, operators of the employee-owned bookstore and coffeehouse announced this week that they’ve received all the city permits required to open their doors at 3128 Greenmount Avenue in Waverly.
“Occupancy permit, traders license, health license, the whole nine yards!” they said in a posting on Facebook. “Come for the food and stay for the events…It’s been a lonely nine months without you and we can’t wait to welcome you into our new home.”
Employees left their location at 1225 Cathedral Street in Midtown last winter aiming to open in Waverly this summer, but the permitting process took longer than expected. They held some events on Greenmount Avenue but were limited in what they could offer.
The move represents an investment in the Waverly area of approximately $1.6 million. City Council member Odette Ramos intervened with city agencies to help Red Emma’s open.
As of this week, Red Emma’s is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Employees said it’s a “soft opening” for now because they’re still working to finish renovation of a second building at 415 East 32nd Street that will be part of Red Emma’s. While construction is being completed on that phase, the bookstore is temporarily housed in the basement of 3128 Greenmount and wheelchair access is through an entrance on Brentwood Alley.
Upcoming events, including an offsite conversation Friday night with Chelsea Manning about her 2022 memoir, “README.txt,” are listed on the store’s website, redemmas.org.
“Please bear with us while we find our rhythm in this new space,” the employees said. “We still have a whole other building to finish and approximately 25 more inspections on that, but what the hell?”