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 grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.