Cetonia Weston-Roy will open Niche Book Bar at 331 W. North Ave. this May, if all pans out as planned. Weston-Roy raised $55,000 via a fully-funded Kickstarter campaign a few weeks ago and is now moving ahead with her plan to open Milwaukee's first black-owned bookshop since The Reader's Choice closed in 2017.
"I'm putting all of the the little pieces together and will hopefully have a grand opening in May," says Weston-Roy.
Niche Book Bar will focus on selling and promoting black literature by established and emerging writers. It will also have a cafe with wine, coffee and tea.
Weston-Roy says she fell in love with reading at the age of 6, and realized in 2018 opening a bookstore was what she wanted to do with her life.
"I initially used to dream of this as a place I would go to visit and to buy books, but I switched my focus after a conversation with a coworker and I realized it was up to me to complete this vision," she says.
Weston-Roy was born in Florida, grew up there and Racine, Wis. and currently lives in Wauwatosa. She is the author of a children's book and will publish her second book in February.
"When The Reader's Choice closed it left a void which I'm hoping to fill with my bookstore," she says. "But it's going to be more than that, too. I want to provide an awesome community space that's a positive place for people and local authors to interact and get their work more visible by the public eye."
Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for a First Look when Niche Book Bar opens this May. Follow Niche's progress via its Facebook page.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.